From shopping for gifts to attending holiday parties, there are many potential sources of stress during the holidays. One of the best ways to prevent holiday stress is to plan ahead and set realistic expectations. Trying to do too much in a short period of time is a recipe for disaster. Instead, take things one step at a time and focus on enjoying the moment. Overeating is another common problem during the holidays. If you do find yourself overeating, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make sure to get back on track with healthy eating as soon as possible.
There are a few other helpful tips for managing stress and overeating during the holidays:
Tip 1: Protein
- Whenever possible, try to eat a lot of protein throughout the day. Protein helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, which is especially important before big meals. You should also think about the order in which you eat your food. During the holidays, it's especially important to fill up on fiber. That's why I usually put out a platter of fruits, vegetables, and dips like hummus at gatherings. I'll also add some protein and healthy fats, followed by nuts, to help people fill up on fiber before they indulge in alcohol and sweeter foods. This helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and prevents overeating.
Tip 2 : Breathing
- The next bit of advice is to take care of your vagus nerve. We know that it's crucial for controlling our stress response, and we want to be more in the parasympathetic region of the autonomic nervous system. That's the part that helps us stay calm and relaxed. The vagus nerve is sometimes called the three-four-five nerve because of the way you breathe when you're using it. You inhale for three counts, hold your breath for four counts, and then exhale for five counts. Research has shown that the prolonged exhalation really helps to calm down the vagus nerve and maintain a more relaxed state. So this is great for anxiety and panic attacks.
Tip 3 : Not to feel guilty
- The third strategy for avoiding stress and overeating during the holidays is to not feel guilty about indulging. Enjoy the holidays and spend time with your family, but be careful not to overindulge. If you do overeat, there are some things you can do to ease your digestion. I'll provide some links to digestive enzymes below. I hope these three suggestions will help you have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season. Please view my video on digestive enzymes and what to look for in an enzyme supplement for additional details.
- During the holiday season, it's important to make sure you're getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can make us more prone to stress and overeating. aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you find yourself having trouble sleeping, there are a few things you can try. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet, and avoid watching TV or using your computer or phone in bed. Avoid eating or drinking caffeine in the evening. With a little effort, you can make sure you get the rest you need to enjoy a stress-free holiday season.
Tip 5. Exercise
- Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve our mood. Even a short walk can make a big difference. By increasing our heart rate and taking deep breaths, we can improve our mental and physical well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. In addition, exercise can help us sleep better, which is important for managing stress.
The holidays can be a stressful time, but there are things you can do to manage stress and overeating. By planning ahead, setting realistic expectations and taking care of yourself, you can make this holiday season a joyous and stress-free one.