The holiday season brings with it plenty of shopping, cooking, holiday parties, family time, planning, cleaning, decorating, and inevitably, plenty of stress! Often you can come out of the holidays feeling drained, stressed out, and even more tired despite time off. That’s not a great way to start the New Year!
Follow these tips to take care of your health and manage stress during all of the festivities.
- Plan a different type of gift exchange. You can avoid a lot of the running around (and spending!) if you agree with your family and loved ones on minimizing gifts around Christmas time. You can decide to only give gifts to young children in the family, or draw names out of a hat and buy a gift for one person each. Another idea is a family excursion instead of gifts, which lets you spend some time together.
- Maintain your regular daily routine. Try to keep up with your regular exercise and self-care. Go to sleep early if you can, so your body can focus on repair processes overnight.
- Support your adrenals. Your adrenals are small glands that sit above the kidneys at your back. They produce important stress hormones and play a big role in helping you to cope with stress and feel energized. Your adrenal glands use nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc, and require more of these during stressful times. Come in to speak with one of our health counsellors to see if you would benefit from supplementation for your adrenals.
- Minimize sugar and simple carbs (as much as you can!) Foods like baked goods, candy, alcohol, and desserts can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to a crash later on. This means unstable moods and energy levels, and often feeling more anxious. Try to choose one favourite treat, and enjoy it in moderate amounts.
- Fill up on whole foods. When you are at dinner parties, fill your plate with vegetables, salads, proteins, and whole grains like rice or quinoa, if they are being served. Snack on nuts and seeds, fruit, and vegetables with dips like guacamole or hummus. These provide fibre, protein, and healthy fat that keep you full, balance blood sugar, and help you to avoid those pesky cravings. These are also the best foods to keep your energy high and your body resilient to stress.
We hope you and your family enjoy a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!
Written by Karolina Zaremba, CNP