Colored lights are twinkling all over suburban neighborhoods, Christmas songs are playing in shopping malls and coffee shops, there are holiday movies on the T.V. and everyone’s asking about your plans for the new year. It’s safe to say that the countdown to the holidays has officially begun!
While holidays are a time for celebration, the pressure to buy gifts and travel tickets, spend time with extended family, cook, navigate crowds and please everyone on your list can be difficult to manage. In fact, a study commissioned by the US Highbush Blueberry Council (1), found that 56% of Americans find holiday shopping stressful, while 41% found the pressure to have a perfect Christmas problematic.
Though it may be tempting to manage the extra festive stress with unhealthy habits like drinking alcohol and indulging in sugary foods, 60% of respondents also reported feeling guilt over their eating habits over the holiday season.
We’ve put together a few helpful natural tips to help you manage holiday stress without blowing your health goals in the process.
1 - Diet
Sugary treats like Christmas cookies and carb-laden comfort foods like mac and cheese or banana bread might help you feel better in the short term, but once the sugar rush is over, the crash begins and the holiday pounds pile on. Instead of grabbing a quick fix from the shelves of the supermarket try eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, salmon and sardines. Studies (2) show that omega-3s can help protect neurons against chronic stress damage. They may also help control depression and make you feel more social at your work holiday party!
Try this delicious healthy recipe from KuKomos Chef Jacqui Brown. As a bonus, this recipe also includes Feta Cheese which is a rich source of probiotics.
Probiotics help keep your gut healthy, so you can avoid the digestive problems that often plague people who are coping with added stress.
Grilled Salmon on a Feta Salad
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
- 1 package (5 ounces) spring mix salad greens
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup red wine vinaigrette
- Combine the seasonings; sprinkle over salmon. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 8-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
- In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, cucumber, tomato and feta cheese; divide among four plates. Top with salmon; drizzle with vinaigrette.
2 - Supplements
Elevated stress levels can compromise your immune system leaving you vulnerable to illness and no one has time to get sick over the holidays. Support a healthy diet with supplements to neutralize the damaging effects of stress on the body and mind.
3 - Exercise
When you’re busy, exercise is often the first thing to get pushed off the to-do list and with holiday parties and travel wreaking havoc with your regular schedule, it’s all too easy to fall out of your exercise routine. Instead of dropping the ball this holiday season, try to carve out some “me time” and make being active a priority.
Physical activity helps increase the production of endorphins in your brain. These feel-good neurotransmitters lift your mood and make it easier to manage additional stress. According to the American Psychological Association (3) 53% percent of adults say they feel good about themselves after exercising, and 30% say they feel less stressed.
If you don’t have the time for your usual hour at the gym, commit to 30 minutes instead of skipping it all together. If it’s just not possible to find a spare half hour in your day, don’t give up! Fit exercise into your routine in other ways. Take the stairs, park a few blocks away from your final destination or get off the bus a stop early, take an extra lap around the mall. All of these small activities add up to keep you moving and keep those stress-busting endorphins pumping!
Pure Vitality a natural supplement company based in an isolated village nestled against the snow-capped Southern Alps of New Zealand. We research health conditions thoroughly to discover the underlying root causes, find the most effective natural remedies, target the root causes rather than use a Band-Aid approach, use a multi-prong approach to fix the root causes from many directions and use high potency ingredients at scientifically supported amounts.