Stress goes with the holidays just as well as turkey, stuffing, pine trees, New Year’s Eve celebrations, stockings and your in-laws. And while the holiday season does bring plenty of joy, the shopping, planning and accommodating can cause your stress levels to skyrocket for the month of December.
That said, it’s important to mindfully provide your body with extra nutritional support throughout the holidays so that you don’t become ill and exhausted. Taking preventative measures by adding extra nutrients to your diet will support your immune system and ensure your adrenal glands don’t wear out from the stress. After all, how can you enjoy boxing day shopping and New Year's Eve if your health isn’t up to par?
Here are 5 effective natural ways to reduce your stress and not only make it through the holiday season, but ring in the New Year with health and happiness.
Eat a (Yummy) Nutrient Rich Breakfast
Despite how busy you get with gift wrapping and crossing things off your to-do list, always be sure to properly fuel your body with proper nutrition in the morning. This way, if you find yourself stuck in traffic or out of the house when hunger strikes, it won’t be detrimental if you have to stop for something a little less healthy on the go.
Eating a nutrient rich breakfast full of fibre, protein and healthy fats will also provide you with the slow releasing, sustainable energy you need to deck the halls and rock around the Christmas tree. Alright, our attempt at a Christmas joke was cheesy- but it’s true!
If you’re pressed for time and stuck on healthy breakfast ideas, check out our favourite nourishing overnight oats recipes that can be made in under three minutes.
Get 8 Hours of Sleep Each Night
Sleep is the most compromised activity during the holidays, which is when you need it most. Getting less than 6 hours of restful sleep each night has the ability to increase cortisol levels, suppress immunity and promote sugar cravings.
Getting enough rest each night will help you manage stress more efficiently, even when you’ve been trying to find that parking spot at the mall for two hours. And why stop at the holiday season to improve your length and quality of sleep? A good new year’s resolution will always include setting aside more time to rest!
Take an Adaptogenic Herb
Your body’s ability to handle and cope with stress can improve greatly when adding an adaptogenic herb to your daily routine. An adaptogenic herb helps your body adapt to stressful situations by supporting your adrenal glands and also provides you with steady energy without a crash.
A few effective adaptogenic herbs are ashwagandha, siberian ginseng, maca root, rhodiola and kava root. We recommend Botanica’s Kava Root Liquid Phytocaps as a quality, bioavailable adaptogen supplement.
Add Lemon or Lime to Your Water
You may already understand the importance of drinking water, as it flushes your body from toxins that contribute to illness and cause you to feel unwell over the holidays.
Kick your water up a notch by adding a vitamin C boost with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and sip on it throughout the day. To make it even more flavourful, you might want to add mint, ginger and berries.
To be sure you’re drinking enough water during the holidays, we recommend keeping a water bottle in the car while you’re traveling and beside you at work. If you know you forget to drink water throughout the day, set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
Get Your Magnesium
Magnesium is a calming mineral that’s depleted by stress and consuming high amounts of refined sugar or alcohol. Ironically enough, when we’re under pressure we tend to gravitate towards sugar or alcohol as a coping mechanism. As one of the key nutrients your body relies on to be able to handle stress, you can understand why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet.
To increase your magnesium intake during the holidays, incorporate plenty of leafy greens such as spinach in your smoothies and even take epsom salt baths to unwind in the evenings. You may also want to add a magnesium bisglycinate supplement to your diet to offer your body extra nutritional support.