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Have Yourself an Anxiety-Free Holiday Season

“If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

-Lao Tzu

Anxiety is the distance between your Target list and your Instagram-perfect images this holiday season.

Dodging an anxiety attack this year is absolutely doable. But you must remember: your health comes before anything else. Even before that bunt cake that will taste so perfect.

Set it down.

Your family needs your sanity more than Instagram needs a falsified pretty memory, which considering the stress isn't actually that pretty behind the scenes. YOU are what family wants to enjoy, and memories are only as good as the feelings your body experiences.

So, set it all down, and let's look at ANXIETY...


I experience anxiety rather chronically. It will come on suddenly without warning and sometimes without explanation. I have to tailor my life to bring my body and mind a sort of cushion. My daily routines are methodically planned to a degree of predicability and then when life shifts its course I have to very literally slow my pace and assess my body and emotions. Living with anxiety, or experiencing a seasonal holiday anxiety, starts with preventative work.


  • Environmental Factors that are uncomfortable or triggering (PTSD can be intertwined here)

  • Driving in the snow!

  • Personal Stress surrounding: Job, Relationships, School, Finances

  • Foods you eat: AVOID caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugars, and carbs

  • Social Factors: Peer Pressure, Uncomfortable Social Situations, Confrontation

  • Wellness: Sleep, Routine, Self-Care


Take 15 minutes to journal. Reflect on each of the above factors in your own life closely and write down the ones that stand out in your life as being anywhere from uncomfortable to very stress-inducing.

Spend some time getting to the core of each dilemma and recognize how it's affecting you.

Now write down how you wish it would be and the shifts needed to be made.

Set your goals!

Give it your best shot this month. Yes, in the chaos of December; what better time to take care of yourself? It's essential.


by Shayla Thompson LAc

"According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S. and has dramatically increased in the last few years. Even reading these statistics might cause someone to feel anxious. As an acupuncturist I have observed how anxiety has become commonplace with nearly all of the patients I treat, as it tends to have an affinity for the modern lifestyle, particularity with those suffering from chronic pain.

Many may wonder "why am I anxious?"

According to the science our nervous systems can either be in rest (parasympathetic) or in “fight or flight” (sympathetic) mode. When you are focused on basic survival such as paying the bills, recovering from illness, etc. the body responds to these tasks as threats producing neurotransmitters and hormones that cause the heart to race, breathing to shallow and muscles to tense. Sounds a lot like anxiety. Overtime anxiety can can lead to other long term health issues such as frequent headaches, weight gain, etc.

So how can anxiety be managed in this day and age?

Acupuncture is one solution. Based on animal and human trials, what we know so far is that Acupuncture supports healthy mental and emotional functioning, by returning our nervous systems back to a restful state (parasympathetic) and thus shifting production of specific neurotransmitters and hormones as well. Compared to anti-anxiety meds that may take a few weeks to kick in, with additional side effects to deal with Acupuncture can evoke a restful state during your first treatment.

As with all acupuncture treatments your acupuncturist will diagnose you personally, and treat your body as a whole. Even if anxiety is not your main health concern, it will be benefited by treatment. The National Institute of Health states Acupuncture is relatively risk free, so you might as well give it a try, experience real time relief and perhaps even break the cycle to reestablish your daily peace."

BODY AWARENESS of the utmost important. As the weather takes over (why are the holidays during the worst time of the year??) and force us to change plans, as financial factors play a part, as the kids scream, and as you have to meet and greet people you are less than keen to, the ticket to making it through is having a body awareness of the sensations that come up and separating it from the event that triggered it.

Name the sensation.

"That's anxiety" or "wow that was frustrating" or "this makes me very nervous" and very literally describe the sensation.

Is it pokey?

Where does it go?

In your chest?

Does it move down your arms?

Is it hard and heavy?

Is it gross and black?

Is it cold and tingly?

Recognize it. It loses power this way. Name it, put a gender and face to it. Watch it lose its power over you and let it exit your body.

become comfortable with being uncomfortable


4-square breathing:

-breathe in for 4 seconds

-hold for 4 seconds

-breathe out for 4 seconds

-hold for 4 seconds

Repeat. Shorten the seconds to 2 if you are in a full-blown anxiety attack; you will need less oxygen to the brain.

Tea: Decaf green tea with lavender &/or kava can be very powerful and very soothing to the system.

Sensory: There are infinite studies on the power of a hug. Sometimes if the attack is more panic-level the body needs space, but usually a standard anxiety attack can use a hug, a cuddle session, or a foot rub. Touch is stimulating yet grounding. Sometimes you need to jump up from that and move around, yoga, go for a walk, dance, exercise, etc. Turn on some good sounds and focus on the music. Going outside is the most powerful, there is an environmental change, the temperature usually changes, the smells, the air, the sounds, the energy, all of it. Nature is healing. Try earthing.

When all else fails...


We know that medications "are there for a reason" but we have an alternative that we have so far seen high success rates here at Heal Grow Thrive (so give us a review!).

I personally have tried it and have recommended it to everyone.


When an attack creeps up, I take one or two capsules and within maybe 10 minutes my anxiety is completely gone, with no side effects. AnxioCalm has saved me in so many situations where I otherwise would have had crippling heart palpations. It also has helped when I'm struggling to sleep from "a lot on my mind". I have tried many other herbal blends and never found any lasting relief. With AnxioCalm, I've noticed that it will completely nip the anxiety and it will last for about 2 hours. If at the end of the 2 hours my body is in a situation where it is still being triggered by other factors, it will naturally respond with anxiety again. However, if I can soothe my body and my situation within that time, the anxiety will not come back.

For the month of December we are offering 20% OFF AnxioCalm

because, you're going to need it on hand.

Call or stop by (we are open 7 days a week) to pick up yours today!



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