The holidays, under normal conditions, starting with Thanksgiving, can be stressful. But this year, in particular, may be even more stressful as we try to navigate the current economic and health situations many find themselves in. There are things we can do to support our stress response this year (and every year!)
First, don’t put a good diet on hold. When we are stressed, that’s when our food needs to be top notch, yet that is when people opt for easy foods or junk foods. We need the extra nutrients to keep up our energy and keep up our stress-handling reserves. It doesn’t make sense to try to push ourselves through the day with an empty tank. Keep good whole foods rolling in.
Second, don’t dump your exercise in order to get your shopping or other holiday details done. Exercise is a good way to burn off stress if done in a healthy manner. Likewise, don’t over-do exercise, especially if you are also not eating as well. This is because you may not have the nutritional reserves to do it, and you may find yourself injured or more exhausted, rather than energized by your workout or your walk.
Third, if your diet is inadequate in general, make sure you are taking good, healthy supplements. These can be vital if your nutritional status is less than optimal during this time. Make sure they are made from foods, not from chemicals. If you don’t know the difference, you can call our office and we will send you a document outlining how to tell the difference.
Fourth, make sure you are drinking adequate water. Keeping well hydrated can reduce physiological stress and help minimize health symptoms. Keeping your health up is vital during stressful times.
Fifth, do things that keep your immune system healthy. Getting sick is a sure-fire way to get you behind on all the things you want to accomplish this time of year. Drinking alcohol, eating sugary foods and eating junk foods can have a deleterious effect on your immune system. Again, eating well, taking good supplements and also getting adequate sleep can contribute to a healthy immune system.
Sixth, get adequate sleep. Don’t sacrifice your sleep to get things done. It will just increase your stress, decrease your effectiveness, decrease your energy and you’ll find yourself more irritable and having a more difficult time managing normal stresses (much less the added holiday stress).
Seventh, get acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture helps improve immune function, reduces the effects of anxiety and stress on your body and mental health and handles disorders caused by chronic as well as holiday stress.
This year, do something for yourself. Give yourself the gift of health, starting with the recommendations above.
©2020 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.