This is the time of year to gear up for the holidays. Although the coming season is supposed to be filled with celebrations, love and laughter, many people experience frustration, anxiety, and high stress. Why do we so easily forget about our health and well-being this time of year? Excessive alcohol, decadent desserts, and late night partying seem to take over any desire to eat well, exercise, and get to bed early. Here’s some advice to keep you smiling this holiday season.
10 TIPS TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAY SEASON:
- Breathe – If you’re feeling anxious or tense, it’s time to stop, take a deep breath in for 5 seconds, and exhale thoroughly. Deep breathing improves the way that you respond to stress and provides oxygen to your brain and tissues. It is also a detoxification pathway, releasing 70% of toxins when done properly.
- Manage your busy holiday schedule – Shop early, write out your ‘to-do list’ before bed, and remember, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to every single invitation.
- Be diligent with taking your supplements – This time of year, you need daily doses of vitamin C (1000mg), selenium (200mcg), zinc (30mg), vitamin D (1000IU), and B vitamins.
- Be kind to your digestive system – If you’re planning on overindulging at a holiday party, help your body out by taking digestive enzymes and probiotics beforehand. Do yourself a favour and go easy on the wine and hors d’oeuvres.
- Load up on garlic – If you don’t want to eat raw garlic, I understand. Instead, you can make a stop at your local health food store and pick up Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract. It will keep your immune system strong without the odour that comes with eating garlic.
- Increase your serotonin levels – Serotonin is known as the hormone that greatly influences mood and overall well-being. It is the chemical messenger in your body that is responsible for restful sleep, relaxation, calmness, inner balance, and appetite satiety. Increase your consumption of squash, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, and dark chocolate. These are some of my favourite foods that help boost serotonin levels.
- Keep up with your exercise routine – Regular exercise helps maintain appropriate levels of hormones and neurotransmitters that affect your mood. Don’t make excuses that you’re too busy for exercise right now or that you’ll start back in January. Make exercise a priority!
- Get adequate sleep – Insufficient sleep will increase the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol. Once cortisol is elevated, you can bet you’ll gain weight, feel unbalanced, and be an easy target for viruses and bacteria.
- Use your benefits before they expire – Book a massage or relaxing acupuncture treatment. Both massage and acupuncture can reduce cortisol levels, increase pleasure hormones, and strengthen the immune system. Keep in mind that certificates for massage or acupuncture make great holiday gifts.
- Have regular sex and bond with your partner – This will boost your immunity, reduce cortisol, and help you sleep. With intense orgasms, your body will release our favourite hormone, oxytocin. When you’re high on oxytocin, you can bet that you’ll handle stress much better.
Learning how to manage stress is one of the most important factors in leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Take a moment and list some practices that you engage in which help you manage stress. Now pencil these practices into your busy holiday schedule. Your body is constantly working to maintain homeostatic balance and keep your organs and systems functioning optimally. Excessive stress can move your body out of this internal balance, which is damaging to your health. Your well-being depends on your body’s ability to continuously re-establish balance when stress comes into play. If you feel overwhelmed by stress and have difficulty managing it, this holiday season is your chance to approach stress from a different angle – relax, breathe and follow my holiday survival tips. Your body will be grateful, and you’ll roll in the New Year looking and feeling fantastic!
Happy Holidays to all of you!