Let’s face it: the holidays may be beautiful, nostalgic and lovely, but they are also stressful. Most of us feel like our days are full but during the holidays we pack in more baking, shopping, gift-wrapping, family visits, traveling…whew! It’s stressful just to think about it. Here are 12 ways to make the holidays less stressful and exhausting:
1. Take a vitamin C — your stress glands, the adrenals, are the highest users of vitamin C. During the holidays it’s easy to deplete the adrenals’ store of this critical immune-boosting nutrient. Alcohol consumption also depletes vitamin C. A typical dose is 1 gram daily.
2. Eat some pomegranate or drink some pomegranate juice. New research shows that pomegranates contain substances that stop viral replicating. That means less chance of getting sick and fewer sick days if you’ve already got something.
3. Stop to breathe. Even just a minute or two of deep breathing causes the adrenals to stop pumping out so much cortisol — the stress hormone that causes us to feel edgy and to gain weight.
4. Eat something before you head to parties. That way, you’ll be less likely to overindulge in junk that just stresses your body more.
5. Take a B-complex vitamin. B-complex vitamins are depleted during times of stress and through alcohol consumption. The B-vitamins are the body’s energy boosters. If you’re exhausted, a good B-complex vitamin can help. A typical dose is 50 to 100 mg (or micrograms for some of the B-vitamins) daily.
Keep reading to discover the drink that boosts energy and prevents cravings for unhealthy foods…
6. Drink more water. Your body is largely water. When you don’t drink enough to replenish naturally-occurring losses none of your bodily systems work as effectively. You feel tired, headachy, achy or can’t fend off seasonal viruses.
7. Schedule some time for yourself. Take a hot bath, read, relax or just do something for you. It is easy to forget about our needs for personal time when there are so many demands on our schedule.
8. Have a cup of green tea. It keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability and cravings for unhealthy foods that typically occur during the holidays.
9. Grab a healthy snack. It’s too easy to neglect healthy eating habits at this time of year in favor of the decadent treats at parties. Healthy snacks reduce cravings for junk and keep energy levels stable throughout the day. Some good choices: celery sticks with almond butter, raw unsalted walnuts or almonds, a handful of unsalted sunflower seeds, a glass of vanilla coconut milk with green powder or a crispy organic apple.
10. Get outside for some fresh air. Fresh oxygen-rich air is the body’s energy-booster. We need it to live. At this time of year it can be easy to forget to get outside for a dose of fresh air. Even if it’s only for ten or fifteen minutes, a walk outdoors can perk up your energy and mood.
11. Eat some holiday season superfoods. Check out my blog 7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods.
Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.