By Jen Morganti, ND, NEEDS Education Director
The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends and create lovely memories, but do you ever feel like it’s all too much? Sometimes an excessively packed schedule and juggling family events can just cause too much stress! Then there are the challenges of resisting abundant unhealthy food choices, lacking time to exercise, and maybe not getting enough sleep. All these factors pile up and can throw off your mood, energy, and weight. There are a few simple tips you can try to minimize the unwanted side effects of the holiday season to help make it the fun and enjoyable season that it was meant to be.
TIP 1 Maintain your Outstanding Self-Discipline
Let’s face it, even the most disciplined person will feel challenged by the delicious treats that are kindly left on every table you pass during the holidays. Beautifully decorated holiday cookies, sweet and creamy eggnog, or rich and cheesy dips with crisp crackers tempt us as we go through the day. There’s a good trick to help dampen these temptations: if you don’t let yourself get hungry, you are less likely to indulge. So keep a stash of fresh veggies on hand and use them to prevent hunger. Filling up with low-calorie, high- fiber, healthy snacks will at least cut back the amount of treats you want to reach for. If you’re going to a holiday party, you can also take a natural appetite suppressant such as Hoodia to prevent overindulging.
Also, make sure you keep enzymes on hand wherever you go, to help deal with digesting large quantities of foods or foods you might be sensitive to. Use a high-quality general enzyme formula, and if you have a sensitivity to gluten, you might benefit from an enzyme formula that contains the Glutalytic enzyme to help break it down more effectively.
TIP 2 Maximize your Opportunities for Rest
Staying out too late, drinking too much alcohol and caffeine, or staying up wrapping gifts all night can interrupt your much needed sleep, leaving you groggy, fatigued, and possibly grouchy. Do your best to get eight hours every night, and if not, at least try to squeeze in a quick cat nap—they really do help! But if you have trouble sleeping and find yourself tossing and turning all night, herbs like valerian or hops will provide a relaxing sedative effect. If anxiety and excessive thoughts keep you awake, try anxiolytic herbs and nutrients such as holy basil, kava, GABA, and L-theanine to calm your mind and prepare for rest. These are also great for daytime use because they do not have sedative properties.
TIP 3 Take Time for YOU
If you find that you have too many social activities planned to the point of exhaustion, be sure to balance it with a little alone time too. Go for a walk, or sit and meditate to rebalance, or just take some time to appreciate all the blessings in your life. After all, isn’t that what the season is really all about?