Nervous System and Holiday Hormones (Part 2: New Year)

In part one of this blog series, we learned how our emotions physically affect our bodies and how and why our skin breaks out when we’re stressed. (Catch up on part one here.) We sat down with our in-house herbalist Isabella and her friend and colleague, craniosacral therapist Nisa Brown, who offered tips for making more connections when gathering with friends and family, and for learning to slow down when eating to reduce disruption in our body systems. 

In part two, we’ll share more tools to help in moments of stress when you’re wrapping up the end of the year!

Capturing Memories of Peace to Return To//

At this time of year, there are a number of things that can be especially unsettling and stressful, from holiday travel to uncomfortable conversations. When we’re in the midst of a triggering interaction, we can soothe our nervous system by remembering times of spaciousness and peace. Even at the dinner table when our most dreaded topic of conversation comes up, we can remember a nourishing holiday vacation, a special place in nature that we love, a beloved pet, or a friend or partner with whom we feel safe. When connecting with these nourishing memories, pay attention to how your body feels when you reconnect internally with that experience. Bringing up these memories of peace can shift our nervous system from overwhelm back into a place of regulation. The more that we can deepen into the somatic memory, the stronger its anti-stress effects can be. We may not be able to escape the sticky dinner conversation or the lengthy airport line, but we can create more space from the intensity of our reaction to it and allow for our nervous system to experience the effects of a different experience.  

The Power of Routines and Moments of Intentionality//

The holidays are a time when our usual routines typically become disrupted. We may be traveling, or perhaps we have children home from school for winter break. The routines that our nervous system relies on may be absent, leaving us with a more ungrounded feeling while so much is also in flux. Missing out on our morning routine, our weekly yoga or workout classes, or a weekly lunch date with a trusted friend.  

In the absence of these routines, we can try to find moments of intentionality throughout our day.  Perhaps rather than our usual morning routine, while staying with family, we can take a moment to ourselves to have some intentional time to be with our breath, take a walk, or have a check-in with our partner and/or children. Choosing consistent “moments of intentionality” to replace our usual routines can help ground us at a time in which we’re navigating many changes to our day-to-day structure.  

Healing touch//

Sometimes, we underestimate the power of touch. Giving ourselves a light neck massage can help relieve stress. Even just ten minutes of gua sha can greatly relieve tension in the face. When we spend intentional time with our skincare routine, it can be soothing to the nervous system, leaning into skincare as a way to self-soothe. 

Plant-based skin remedies//

Using plant-based aromatics can also be supportive to the nervous system. Plants like chamomile and lavender are nervines, which help the nervous system by providing calming support. Taking that extra deep breath when you’re washing your skin or applying a facial oil can be helpful in using the physical and aromatic sensations to calm down. 

Reach out to an herbal practitioner who can help recommend herbal medicine for nervous system support. We love Farmacopia for all its herbal remedies, especially its nervous system support line. Adding herbal tinctures daily can be used as preventative support bolstering our nervous system.

Don’t forget, hydration is also very important. When the air is dry and you’re traveling or out and about, staying hydrated helps keep the electrical impulses functioning properly in your body. 


The key is to keep your nervous system calm. Be gentle with yourself and don’t try to incorporate all of these tools at once. Find a few that you like and have them be your anchors this time of year. It’s a spectrum of healing–from a luxurious bath, a simple skincare routine, a customized facial with your favorite holistic esthetician, a healing session with Nisa, or a delicious tincture– any one of these will help you stay calm bringing in the new year.

Be well,
Botnia, Isabella & Nisa

Resources:
Isabella Ayala de Credico, Herbalist isabella@tryearthallies.com, Earth Allies 

Nisa Brown, nisa@nisabrown.com, Craniosacral Therapy for Nervous System Regulation & Renewal

We love Farmacopia for all its herbal remedies. Download their Winter Gut and Stress Soother guide for more details about the gut and gut support. 

Please note: The information in this post is only for educational purposes only and does not offer medical advice. Please contact your doctor or health practitioner directly if you have any medical conditions that need attention.

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