alternative medicine

4 Ways to Relieve Stress During the Holidays

Lifestyle blogger Lauren Meyer of the Lo Meyer Blog | Life with Lo discusses 4 Ways to Relieve Stress During the Holidays

It’s just about this time of year that my stress levels tick up a few notches. They start slowly going up right around Thanksgiving and usually are at an all time high right about now. I know I’m not the only one who feels like this! I think the reason for this is two-fold. Not only are you spending copious amounts of money on presents and prepping for Christmas with various family members. You’re also likely taking time off from work, which can increase your workload after the holidays. Definitely a stress inducing time!

And although it’s super easy to turn to that extra glass of wine or that extra Christmas cookie (or five), there are other ways to relieve stress during the holidays!

Use Essential Oils

As much as I talk about my love for Bath and Body Works candles, when I’m really stressed I’ll take out the big guns – A.K.A my essential oils. For the last few years, my favorite brand of oils has been Eden’s Garden because they’re verified pure, and they’re more affordable than a lot of other brands out there. It’s also a woman-owned company so gotta support my fellow boss-babes, right?! I love their synergy blends, like “relaxation” and “stress relief” during high stress times. But, my favorite oil to use during times like these, is actually their pure lavender oils. They have several different kinds. I use the spike lavender because, honestly, it’s the cheapest, and I actually like the scent the most (win-win!). I’ll often diffuse this at night because it’s perfect for relaxing before sleep!

You can diffuse these oils or rub them on your wrist, temples, or back of your neck to smell the scent throughout the day.

This gorgeous diffuser is currently under $30 and looks so much nicer than most on the market!

Stick to a Routine

This is the time of year that I’m constantly confused on what day it is. It’s like I enter Christmas “break” and lose all sense of time until after New Year’s. I love and hate this. It makes me feel more relaxed in the moment. But, late at night, I sit up thinking about all the things I didn’t get done on my “to-do” and all of the things that I’m pushing until after the New Year. It is Christmas time, so take it easy! But try spending 30-40 minutes a day doing something more productive and tackle some small items on your to-do list. That way, when the New Year arrives, you feel ahead of the game instead of behind.

Another easy way to stick to a routine is to try to go to bed at a reasonable time and limit your sleeping-in. As Kevin can attest to, if you let me, I’ll sleep until ten then read in bed for two hours and crawl out around noon. But as relaxing as that sounds, I always feel like I’ve wasted my day and feel 10 times more stressed out after getting up. So, take it from a habitual late-sleeper. Avoid that last drink, chug water, go to bed at a good time and wake up refreshed, ready to spend valuable time with those you love (even if it’s just with yourself!). And then, you may just feel up to tackling some of those small items on your to-do!

Take Time to Yourself

This Christmas, like all others, Kevin and I will be literally all over the place. We head to Milwaukee on Saturday to be with my in-laws for two days. Then we’ll leave super early (talking like 6AM) on Monday to catch Christmas morning with my family before my nephews open their gifts, and then we’ll we head back home on Tuesday afternoon. Sleep and personal time will be scarce as we try to maximize the time with both of our families. However, it’s not impossible to take time to yourself during a holiday weekend like this.

A great way to get that necessary self-care time in is to take 20-30 minutes a day doing something “unnecessary” that only involves you. I personally love to read before going to bed. Not only does this build in me-time (I don’t go to bed any earlier than I would otherwise, so I’m not taking time away from my family), but it also helps take my mind off whatever is going on before I go to bed. The nights I don’t read before going to bed because I’m “too busy” and have to sleep “right away” are often the nights that I can’t fall asleep for an hour. It’s also a great way to avoid “screen time” right before bed. Too much exposure to screens/blue light can actually make you sleep worse. Try reading, or doing something like journaling, before going to bed to take your mind off the day and focus on something for you.

This time of year, I read a lot of feel-good books. Think Hallmark movies only in a book. They make me feel good, don’t require me to do a lot of critical thinking and are usually page-turners.  Two good books I’ve read this December are Jenny Hale’s Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses as well as Coming Home for Christmas. Coming Home was actually made into a Hallmark movie this year so you know it’s a good one!


Doing a traditional workout like going to the gym isn’t always an option when traveling for the holidays. However, there are other ways to exercise that’ll make you feel less sluggish and more in control of your day, therefore, lowering your stress levels. Try taking a walk with a family member in the morning before festivities get started. This is a great way to catch up and also get some exercise in. Another thing you can do is a quick 10-minute yoga routine right when you wake up. This allows your mind to stay focused on your health and remain calm when things get chaotic during the day.

How do you relieve stress during the holidays? Are you and your loved ones doing anything special to celebrate this weekend?

As Kev and I will be traveling and maxing time with family, there will not be a new post on Monday. I know you all will understand! Stay tuned for two posts next week on goal setting for 2018 and a 2017 year in review post. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter so that we can stay connected over the holidays! And, FYI, be sure to check Nordstrom next week for their half yearly sale that always happens between Christmas and New Year’s!

Happy Holidays Everyone!!


Six Alternative Ways to Treat and Prevent Migraines

Departing a bit from the standard posts to speak to you about an issue I deal with regularly and have dealt with a lot in the last few weeks – chronic migraine. I’ll also be discussing SIX non-prescription remedies you can use for even the smallest of headaches!

If you’ve ever had a really bad headache, you know how debilitating they can be. And I’m willing to bet most of you have had a headache at one point or another. For those of us with chronic migraine living a “normal” day to day life can be impossible at times. The International Headache Society defines a condition called chronic migraine as a “headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than three months, which, on at least 8 days per month, has the features of migraine headache.” I’ve had chronic migraine since I was 14, and in the early years I had a headache constantly. And before you ask, no I don’t have some sort of brain tumor, cancer or serious neurological condition, thankfully! Having been referred to a specialist for migraines and having dealt with them on a regular basis for almost 13 years, I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about how to handle them and even avoid them all together. Of course, there are always prescription options. I myself am on three daily medications and have two pain medications I can take when needed. But, I’m only 26. I like to avoid prescription drugs when I can so I’ve rounded up some of my tried and true migraine/headache remedies for the post today!

Something I should mention before we dive in – If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause (if you can). After that, if you do indeed have chronic migraine, it’s important to document your daily habits (food, hours slept, habits, stress levels, activities, weather etc) to determine your triggers. More on triggers can be found here. But, in short, triggers are things that can “trigger” a headache/migraine. Some of my triggers include – brace yourself – changes in weather systems, very cold temperatures, dehydration, hunger, bright lights, blue light emission, stress, neck tension, sleep deprivation/over-exertion, and the list goes on. Looks like I should live in a bubble, right?! Recognizing my triggers by writing down habits and reflecting on them helps me realize situations that may cause issues and work around them. I try to live my life as anyone would, but I always prepare for my triggers and have a handy toolbox to fight a headache should one arise.


Here are six non-prescription remedies I use on a regular basis to help me prevent and combat migraines:


The American Migraine Foundation recommends getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night to prevent migraines. It also encourages a regular sleeping pattern (i.e. going to bed and getting up at the same time every night). For me, I need closer to 8 hours of sleep to avoid migraines; therefore, a busy time = a migraine time. Sleep is important for your overall health as well and is linked to things such as a longer life. If you have a headache, try to sleep it off – that may be all your body needs!


My migraine doctor always discussed the importance of hydration with me because dehydration can cause temporary brain shrinkage from lack of fluid, effectively pulling the brain from the skull. Gross! I find that I need more than the recommended 50% of your body weight in ounces a day. I need close to about 60%. This helps me prevent headaches like you wouldn’t believe and isn’t something I fully appreciated until recently. Chugging water is also one of the first things I do when I have a headache or migraine. It’s not a bad idea to start your day by drinking 8-10oz of water. It gives you a good start and can give you even more energy than a cup of coffee! And we all know how I love my coffee…


Most technology we use on a regular basis emits some form of blue light – the phone, tablet, or computer you’re reading this on included. The effects of blue light on migraines are still debated, but I know it negatively affects my headaches. It causes eye stress, which causes an intense headache behind my eyes. I typically keep the night filter on on my iPhone and have a free program called f.lux downloaded on ALL of my computers – including my work ones. Don’t hesitate to ask your work’s IT department for permission to install, mine approved it right away! And I was able to walk out of work almost everyday headache-free.


Essential oils are my first go-to when I have a headache or migraine. I actually own 4 diffusers, which I keep at my home and work (lol). To top that, I have multiple roller bottles of oils + carrier oils to roll on tense muscles and my temples. Yeah, I’m definitely the poster girl for oils! Eden’s Garden is my favorite essential oil company because they are 100% pure therapeutic grade and 10% of all profits go to charity. They have synergy blends like “Head Ease”, “Muscle Relief” and “Breathe Easier” that all help relieve my headache pain. And, no, Eden’s Garden did not sponsor this post in any way! I’ve purchased their products for years and would happily vouch for their quality!


Stress is one of my biggest triggers. Whether it’s emotional or physical stress, my body always reacts with a days-long headache. If you watched my insta-stories this past week, you know I was suffering from a bad cycle of headaches. This is the first day in almost two weeks I haven’t woken up with a headache because I’ve forced myself to catch up on sleep and cut down the screen time. It doesn’t hurt that my 9-5 is slowing down after an extremely crazy 2 weeks as well. During high stress times, I often turn to Yoga to help me release mental stress and give my neck/shoulders a good stretch, as that’s where I store my stress on my body. I try to practice Yoga once a week even when I’m not in a headache cycle to feel balanced and less stressed.


Acupuncture may not always be your first thought when it comes to relieving or preventing migraines, but it has been a life-changer for me. When I first tried Acupuncture in Spring 2016, I was suffering from a 3 weeklong migraine. Seriously. Acupuncture broke the migraine within a few visits and had me mostly headache free in a few weeks. Even now with monthly visits, it takes quite a bit of exposure to one trigger to give me a bad cycle of headaches. And acupuncture helps me get through my worst time (October-November, March) a lot quicker than I had in previous years. If you’re at your wits end, acupuncture is something to try!


So there you have it! Six things I do to both prevent and treat migraines, and I can personally attest to their effectiveness. Do you have anything you use to treat headaches or migraines? Let me know!




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