Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress as a Medical Marijuana Patient
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 10/05/2018 in Medical Marijuana
Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
For many folks, the holidays have plenty of food, fun and family in store — but the season also comes with some stress. While we have plenty to love about the holidays, they can also make us anxious, sad, lonely or angry. At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we want to help you in all aspects of wellness, even holiday stress.
Why Do We Feel Holiday Stress?
People can feel stressed and sad during the holidays due to:
- Increased obligations, such as hosting parties and buying presents
- Feeling isolated from others
- Looking back on the negative aspects of the past year
- Unresolved family trauma or tension
- Unrealistic expectations of a “perfect” holiday
- Dealing with family changes, like divorce or the loss of a loved one
Despite these troubles, you have plenty of coping strategies that can help you relieve these feelings. Here are six of them.
1. Treat Yourself to a Marijuana Getaway
Depending on what you celebrate, you may find yourself trying to get the perfect treat for everyone you love. So, why not love yourself and spend some money on relaxing cannabis therapy? Patients who have the money to spare can relax with services like:
- Cannabis Massages: During a cannabis massage, your massage therapist rubs marijuana-based topical treatments into your tense muscles. The medicine enhances the effects of the massage, helping you relax.
- Marijuana Yoga: If you prefer something a little more active, marijuana yoga could let you unwind. After medicating with cannabis, you complete a yoga session and enjoy the relaxing effects of both therapies.
- Cannabis Spas: For the full package, try visiting a cannabis spa. These locations have multiple relaxing cannabis therapies, including massages, yoga, facials and baths.
If you can’t afford to visit one of these places or don’t have one nearby, why not create your own marijuana spa? Many of these therapies include items and methods you can use by yourself or with a loved one.
2. Stick to Your Treatment Plan
A longer to-do list and travel can make it challenging to follow regular habits like medical treatment, and the holidays often have both factors. During this season, remember to take your medicine as directed. When you take medicine that works well, sometimes, you take those positive effects for granted. Then, you remember how much a medication helps you when you stop taking it and start feeling the effects it treats. Avoid remembering the hard way and continue taking your medicine on time and in the recommended dose.
Traveling to another state sometimes gets in the way of proper treatment. For more information about medical marijuana and travel, we recommend checking out these guides:
- Guide to Traveling With Medical Marijuana
- Can I Buy Medical Marijuana Outside of My Home State?
- Can I Get a Recommendation From an Out-of-State Doctor?
Remember to research the ins and outs of the marijuana laws for the state(s) you visit. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress later on.
3. Get Plenty of Rest
Insufficient sleep not only reduces your energy, but it also changes your mood. It can make you feel irritable, anxious or depressed and cause mood swings. Unfortunately, during stressful times like the holidays, we tend to sleep less. This lack of rest increases your mood symptoms, which then make it even harder to sleep. Break the cycle by practicing good sleep habits and sticking to your usual bedtime routine.
If you need more than just habit changes to fall or stay asleep, you may have a sleep disorder like insomnia. Some types of medical marijuana can help you sleep at night and let you get quality rest. Try modifying your treatment regimen if you think you could benefit from cannabis’ sleep-enhancing effects.
4. Use High-CBD or 1:1 Medicine
The THC in cannabis causes anxiety for some patients. Many of them experience benefits that far outweigh this side effect. However, you can also prevent anxiety symptoms by changing to medicine with a higher amount of CBD.
CBD does not have the psychoactive effects of THC. When combined with THC, CBD mellows out the cognitive symptoms and helps you feel less anxious. If you think your medicine could contribute to the stress you feel, try increasing the amount CBD you take. You don’t necessarily have to give up THC, either. Work closely with your doctor, and you could find a ratio that works even better than your current treatment.
5. Reach Out to Others
Even when you have friends and family to visit, the holidays can evoke a sense of loneliness. We feel like we’re supposed to have constant social interaction during this season and feel left out.
Remember to get in touch with the people you care about during the holidays, even if for just a moment. You could also look for causes or organizations to take part in. Medical marijuana patients in certain areas have the option of joining a patient support group. Some dispensaries have frequent meetings and events for their members where you can meet new people.
6. Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Holiday parties offer numerous opportunities to drink. Combined with the increased level of stress, the wide availability of alcohol at the end of the year encourages excess drinking. Drinking too much alcohol worsens depression symptoms. Using it to self-medicate mood problems actually makes them more severe.
If you don’t have a depression or anxiety diagnosis but feel stressed enough to want to self-medicate with alcohol, talk to your doctor. You may have a mood disorder that you can relieve with your medical marijuana. Research shows that cannabis can reduce unhealthy drinking habits by addressing the underlying causes.
Happy Holidays From MarijuanaDoctors.com
No matter what you celebrate, the team at MarijuanaDoctors.com sincerely hopes you enjoy the holiday season. Remember, you don’t have to cope with holiday stress by yourself. Many people have this problem, so we encourage you to take a breath and seek the support you need.
If you have holiday stress that feels too severe to be normal, get in touch with a marijuana-positive doctor right away. It’s the greatest gift you could give to yourself.