It's October, and while it may seem early, the holidays are just around the corner - and so too is the stress that comes with them! From the traffic to shopping lines, to cooking and wrapping, to shipping delays and deciding who to invite to holiday festivities, there's a lot to manage during the holidays. But don't despair, there are things you can do to help maintain your physical wellbeing and mental sanity this season.
Here are our top ten tips below for making sure you survive the holidays in one piece!
1. Maintain a healthy diet: Healthy and holidays don't always go together when it comes to food, and we aren't just talking about decadent splurges. When we are stressed and time-pressed, healthy often goes out the window. We eat more sugar, consume more caffeine and alcohol and sometimes even skip meals. While your time may be short, try to incorporate three healthy meals into your day. Consider soups and stews and other one-pot meals that you can pull together quickly. Pack healthy shelf-stable snacks in your purse or glove compartment so that you have nuts, dried fruit or granola or something on hand to snack on when in transit. A healthy body is one well fed with nutritious foods, so make this a top priority!
2. Keep your gut balanced: A balanced gut is a happy gut, so be sure to take a daily probiotic such as delPRO™ (infused with del-IMMUNE V) to regulate your digestive and immune health. Try to incorporate probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods which will help to replenish your gut flora. And, don't underestimate the impact stress has on your digestive and immune systems and take time to build some stress-relieving activities into your day.
3. Get your winter workout on: It's so important to keep moving, even when the temperatures dip. In fact, there are benefits to exercising in cold weather. Your heart won't have to work as hard in the cold, you sweat less and expend less energy, which means you can exercise more efficiently. Additionally, exercising in the cold may improve your endurance and helps you get exposure to sunlight which aids in warding off seasonal affective disorder (a type of depression some people experience during the winter months).
Just remember to stretch, wear warm layers and stay hydrated, and if you have asthma or heart problems check with your physician first.
4. Strengthen your immune system: During the holidays, when we are smack dab in the middle of flu season, and anxieties are unusually high, there's really no better time to incorporate a daily immune health supplement. An all-natural metabiotic such as del-IMMUNE V® will replicate the intestine’s natural immune function which is to turn on and off when needed and offers the necessary protection necessary now during the holidays and all year long.
5. Take a break from social media. Social media is pervasive and unless you are able to manage it effectively, can be quite stressful. Consider dialing down your social engagement, if even temporarily (try one week!), to help you refocus. Maybe delete the social media apps from your phone, turn off social notifications or set a bedtime for social media consumption. Eliminating the constant chatter and distraction of social media will allow you to focus more on what matters which will ultimately benefit your mental wellbeing.
6. Enjoy the scents of the season. Using scents to treat your mood is called aromatherapy and can help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety. Scents we naturally associate with the season (cinnamon, clove, peppermint, etc.) tend to conjure good feelings and offer natural stress relief. In fact, pine tree scent, according to a Japanese researcher, is found to lower stress levels and depression. So take in the scents of the season to help naturally calm and ground yourself!
7. Listen to music. Music can have a relaxing effect on the body, whether it's popular, classical, nature or holiday. Find the genre that works best for you and build it into your day - while working, exercising, cooking, driving, etc.
8. Sing out loud. While you have that music on, consider busting out a tune! Singing is a natural stress reliever. When we sing, musical vibrations move through our bodies and impact our emotions. It lowers stress levels and relieves anxiety, especially when singing with a group. Singing elevates our endorphin levels which evoke feelings of pleasure. It also increases oxytocin levels to reduce stress and anxiety.
9. Laugh it out. They say laughter is the best medicine - and it's also a great way to unwind and de-stress. Consider watching a funny movie or just spending time with people (or pets) who make you happy! If you can't get together in person, call them or, better yet, FaceTime or Zoom! Laughter soothes tension, improves your mood and benefits your immune system!
10. Give back. We all know that giving back is good for others, but did you also know that it's good for you? Studies show that giving can actually boost your physical and mental health. From volunteering at a soup kitchen, to participating in a toy drive, the health benefits are plentiful, they include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased self-esteem
- Less depression
- Lower stress levels
- Longer life
- Greater happiness and satisfaction
Giving back is a win-win for all involved, and what better activity to participate in the holiday season!