Happy 2014 Holiday Season!
Tips for the Holidays… Be well and stay happy this holiday season
The Holiday’s can be stressful for some. The colder temps, lack of daylight, the many holiday parties, sugary treats and lack of downtime all add up and can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (feelings of depression with the changes in season), weight gain and increased feelings of stress and anxiety.
Remember to keep your best interest in mind this holiday, and use these easy steps to keep a level head.
- Make exercise a priority – Add it to your calendar every day! Even if it’s 10 minutes of lunges, squats and push ups in your living-room, you will be happier and more productive because of it and if you don’t believe me, check out this article.
- Get some sunshine and get outside – With the shorter days, we tend to not even see the sun some days. Yet, vitamin D is so important for our health and wellbeing that it is ultra important to get outside during the winter months. Even if it’s 10-20 minutes, anything is better than nothing. Take a short walk after lunch outside, get some fresh air and turn off your phone for a little while. The sunshine and fresh air will boost your immune system, as well as your mood and you may even get some color on your skin. What’s not to like?
- Make better eating choices – Yes, all those cookies, pies and sugary alcoholic treats are tempting, but I promise you, you will be much happier by limiting your intake. Go into each holiday party with a plan and make a conscious decision each time you reach for the cookie tray. Grab some smoked salmon or a shrimp cocktail instead. Have some sparkling water in between glasses of wine. It’s a win, win… you can still stay and enjoy the party all night, and not feel like a piece of (you know what) the next morning.
- Drink herbal teas and plenty of water – It’s best to get about half your body weight in ounces of H20 a day. Stay hydrated, and drink lots of tea. Herbal tea is super high in healthy anti-oxidants, which help with detox and keep you looking and feeling young and healthy. In addition, proper hydration is grounding and can keep an otherwise anxious person much more stable during stressful situations.
- Meditate or take some quiet time for yourself – It’s so important to learn how to breathe and relax. It can teach you how to deal with those feelings of stress and anxiety during the hectic and hard times in your life, and practice makes perfect; the more you do it, the better you get at controlling your reactions to stressful incidents! If self meditation isn’t quite your style, try out this app you can take with you anywhere.
- Think you don’t have enough time? Add a couple of minutes of down time or self-reflection post workout (like a sivasana). Instead of just running to the next thing, take a moment and enjoy all the good feelings from your workout.
- Let it go – The holidays are wonderful times; remember that when you are forced into a social setting that you aren’t super excited about (we know this happens to all of us). Appreciate those parts of it that make you happy and let go of all the nonsense that always seems to get the better of us. After all, you are only hurting yourself by focusing on the negative… so switch it up and let the positive win, it’s ok! I know easier said than done, but thinking about it is the first step.
- Respect your gut – Did you know most of our feel good hormones (such as serotonin) originate in the gut? They call it your “second brain”. There are many studies coming out linking proper gut health with your overall health and wellbeing. Ways to improve gut health:
- Take a daily Probiotic and eat lots of fermented foods for maintaining healthy gut bacteria.
- Add a Collagen or Gelatin (Great Lakes Gelatin is the best brand) supplement to your regimen to heal the lining and improve collagen formation in your skin.
- L-Glutamine is also a good alternative to heal the lining of the gut.
- Limit refined sugars and other food sensitivities you may have. If you aren’t sure what foods you are sensitive to, start keeping a food journal with associated symptoms like changes in digestion, mood or energy. or see a practitioner (like me) who specializes in nutrition and food therapy. Sugar and some foods can be damaging to the health of your gut lining and lead to other ailments; such as digestive disorders, changes in mood, skin disorders and even brain (focus) and memory wellbeing.
- Get plenty of rest – Having trouble sleeping? Change up your bedtime routine…
- Eat your meals earlier in the evening.
- Drink less alcohol, & eat less sugar.
- Remove all lights & electronics from your bedroom.
- Consider using a natural supplement or Chinese Herbal Formula.
- Try this app… Brain Waves (which I know goes against the electronics in the bedroom, but it’s a good one).
- Try meditating before bed.
- Use an Essential Oil diffuser in your bedroom, and put drops of Lavender in it.
Till next time…
Erin Resko Hill L.Ac, MAOM