by Tryna Cooper

We’ve just made it through one of the busiest, most stress-filled times of the year — we all have our regular work and daily tasks, and then we throw in business planning for the next year, maybe add or contemplate some New Year’s resolutions.

On top of all of this we find the time for gatherings, festivities, shopping, and gift buying and giving with family and friends. Of course, we can’t forget the food and spirits, extra money spent, and often very little sleep. All of this, while joyous and fun, can add stress to the body, emotions, mind and spirit.

Now that we are a few months into the new year and business is ramping up again, you likely are planning not only finances for the new year, but also how to take some of the burden of last year off yourself in 2017. So let’s look at what happens to you when you add this stress … and explore a few tips to balance things out the next time you experience this busy time.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live,” Jim Rohn, motivational speaker and mentor to Tony Robbins, famously said.

Rohn is right. Our bodies are where we live, experience and feel. They are made to respond to added activity by filling us with adrenaline and increasing energy. It is that fight, flight or freeze response. Our bodies are made to respond with short bursts of energy to overcome obstacles.

The key here is short bursts of energy. Our systems are not made to run at this pace for long periods of time. Just like our equipment, if we run our bodies too long without periods of downtime or maintenance, they break down.

Stress

Stress symptoms affect your body and behavior. Stress can affect your health, emotions and mind without you even knowing it. Nagging headaches, insomnia and lack of focus may all be a result of stress.

The Mayo Clinic reports, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.”

The Mayo Clinic also says the most common results of stress include:

  • Body: Headache, chest pain, fatigue, sex drive changes, stomach issues and sleep problems
  • Mood: Anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation or focus, overwhelmed feelings, irritability, anger, sadness and depression.
  • Behavior: Overeating, undereating, angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, tobacco use, social withdrawal and exercising less often.”

Inflammation

One of our body’s natural responses is inflammation. We are built to use inflammation effectively for short periods of time, but inflammation for long periods of time begins to negatively affect the body.

“Inflammation is a vital part of the body’s immune response. It is the body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury; defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria; and repair damaged tissue,” Jessie Szalay, contributing writer for Live Science says. “Inflammation can also be problematic, though, and it plays a role in some chronic diseases.”

According to Szalay, the two types of inflammation — acute and chronic (or systemic) — perform different tasks within the body. While acute inflammation deals with small-scale problems like skin abrasions, sprained joints or bronchitis, chronic inflammation occurs with long-term issues like asthma, bowel diseases, lupus, etc. Chronic inflammation also forms with “wear and tear” issues like different types of arthritis.

“Habitual or environmental factors such as excess weight, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, smoking, pollution, poor oral health and excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to chronic inflammation,” Szalay adds.

If you reduce stress in your body and take care of it, you’ll not only look and feel younger, but you’ll also significantly lower your risk for chronic inflammation. So, do what you can to curb the stress.

Tips for lowering stress and inflammation

Needless to say, it is very important when things get busy to make time for yourself and get the rest and nutrition your body needs. Take time to stop and breathe and take in the moment. If you feel the pressure, just cut back. Everything will still exist after you’ve taken a breath.

For inflammation, consider drinking one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water one or two times each day. In the beginning, if you need to sweeten it to drink it, add a little organic honey. Consider using hot water for a warm drink on a chilly night.

In a  World Health Network Forum article, John Summerly says, “One of the most traditional cures for almost anything is apple cider vinegar.” He adds, among many others treatments, it “kills head lice, reverses aging, eases digestion, prevents flu, prevents acne, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, kills fungus, regulates pH balance, dissolves kidney stones, and helps relieve allergies, migraines, asthma, nausea, [and] heartburn and washes toxins from the body.”

Make this a better year

Have you already lost sight of your New Year’s resolution? Why not start anew today? What is it that you can do for you?

Well, one thing different from the regular exercise programs or diets is to simply take time for yourself. Spend 30 minutes or an hour each day on you — whatever you want to do. Plan it in every day, just as you would any other appointment. Make it interesting, maybe different, each day. Take the time to learn, relax or grow. No guilt. No apologizes. Just you having time with you. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get to know yourself better.


Tryna Giordano Cooper is a business leader, lifelong entrepreneur, solution-based community activist, new-thought leader and passionate sacred activist. She is a co-owner of several small businesses in Colorado including Meetings & Events, Experience Events, and Journeys for Conscious Living and was the co-owner of The Professional Cleaning Network in Denver. She is a winner of the Blue Chip Enterprise Award for small business and Adams County Capital Development Award. She can be reached at TCooper@meetingsandevents.com.