Are you feeling anxious or depressed? You’re not alone.
For many people, the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. It’s a time when we’re expected to spend money on gifts and host parties for friends and family, which has become even more stressful during the pandemic. We put pressure on ourselves by making everything perfect or at least seem like it is. And if loved ones do not surround you, it can feel more isolating than ever before.
1. Talk to someone about how you’re feeling, whether it’s a friend, family member, therapist, or hotline
2. Avoid putting pressure on yourself to have the “perfect” holiday. It’s ok to celebrate in your way.
3. Get enough sleep and exercise. Both of these help to improve your mood.
4. Spend time with loved ones, even if it’s just for a short while.
5. Take some time to relax and do something that you enjoy, like listening to music.
8. Some people get nervous about trying THC but starting slow and low and working up to the desired goal is a good plan for finding the correct dose. A small puff of sativa can give you some lift in mood and a bit of stress relief, as can a very low-dose sativa edible or sublingual preparation.
High-CBD flowers, edibles and sublinguals are available in many different ratios. CBD generally helps take people to a calmer base level without a distracting high. Experimentation with various ratios is essential, as we all metabolize cannabinoids differently. More balanced ratios (1:1-1:4) often help lift mood, while larger ratios (18:1 and higher) are beneficial when you’re feeling stressed out and need to focus. As with THC, starting low is vital — the goal is to find the optimal amount for balance and relief in the body.
Different strains contain specific terpene profiles that influence effects. Sativas are uplifting and can work well for creating a lift in mood. Some strains can exacerbate anxiety, so be careful if you’re feeling stressed — another reason starting low is the best approach to successful use. Hybrids are effective for both mood and stress. They can range from calming and functional to uplifting and creative. Be aware of strains that cause adverse effects for you and look out for those genetics in new strains you try. Indicas can be helpful for stress, but be careful when you’re feeling blue as they can exacerbate mood, making it harder to get out of bed or leave the house if there is too much sedation.
An example of two mood-lifting terpenes are beta-caryophyllene (β-caryophyllene) and limonene. Beta-caryophyllene, one of the more common terpenes found in cannabis, can be found in hops and black pepper and is known to have more happy and relaxing effects. More often found in sativa-dominant strains, limonene is also found in citrus and has uplifting and soothing properties. Terpenes that help de-stress are linalool and myrcene (β-myrcene). Linalool, primarily in indica-dominant strains, has soothing properties and is found in lavender. Myrcene, another common terpene found in cannabis that is also in mangoes. Note that both terpenes have sedating properties- not for if you’re already having motivation issues.
Smoking/vaporizing cannabis metabolizes differently in the body than consuming edibles. When smoking or vaporizing dried flowers, the effects are felt almost immediately and do not last very long. Edibles are efficient for micro-dosing and have more prolonged effects. Higher dosages of edibles can be problematic — the way we metabolize them produces a drowsier feeling towards the end of the experience, whether they be sativa or indica, which may not be desirable if you’re wrestling with the blues. They can also create a next-day “stoned-over” effect, making motivation difficult.
***It’s important to note that if you’re considering using cannabis to treat severe anxiety or depression, speak with your doctor so they can partner with you on the process.***
It’s sometimes difficult to know what will help us feel better during the holidays. However, there are a few things we can do that may make it more manageable: talk with someone about your feelings; avoid putting pressure on yourself and have fun instead of trying to be perfect; spend time with loved ones, even if for a short while; take some time for yourself by doing something you enjoy or taking care of yourself. Remember that everyone is going through their own experiences this season, so try not to compare yours with others – find what helps you cope best! If all else fails, remember these tips and don’t hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family members, therapists, hotlines – anyone who might offer emotional support. We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season!
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