Beating Holiday Stress With Nutrition and Self-Care
Holidays can be a very fun, festive and spirited time of year. And they can bring a mix of emotions for people too. It’s also the time of year, where there seems to be endless deadlines to wrap a year up as well. Needless to say, we can feel a little extra fatigued, stressed and worn down.
How can we help our bodies and minds handle this extra stress better? Below, you’ll find a few tips to help you do just that.
- Maintain a routine. Some kind of routine. Its ok if that routine is a little tweaked here and there, but a body loves routine, from eating times, to sleep times, to times of exercise and movement to times of focus on work. A body loves a routine. Even if your routine feels a little off balance these days, see what IS possible. What can you do to help yourself stay regulated? It could be as simple as keeping your night time ritual and bedtime sacred. This may be your non-negotiable piece that you fight to maintain. It could be that you are packing your meals in advance, so it’s one less thing you have to think about during the day and you have all you need at your fingertips.
- Stay hydrated. This is one of the biggest things that seem to get neglected. Especially during these colder months and in particular during busy times. Keep yourself hydrated! This helps you not only focus more clearly, but also provides energy! Water is the carrier of all the nutrients you take in. You want them shipped to the most necessary areas of your body as quickly as possible to help you task and do all these important things as efficiently as possible too! Front load in the morning if possible to help you maintain hydration as the day goes on. Start your day with at least 8-16oz of water, have a cup of water before and after each meal and make a point to drink and refill a 12-32oz water bottle for your morning and your afternoon. Make a note that your body desires ½ your body weight in water in ounces on a daily basis. An additional 16oz per hour of activity and an additional 8oz per caffeinate or alcoholic beverage. Remember, being properly hydrated also helps your digestion respond at its best as well and also helps you identify real hunger cues.
- Get your B-vitamins! Through your food, not supplements. Supplements are there for a special time and place. Our bodies absorb nutrients better through food and need these vitamins spread throughout our day for adequate absorption and use. What are the best sources of b-vitamins? Nutrient dense carbohydrate sources. These include whole grains, fruits and vegetables. You receive some b’s from the proteins that you eat as well as dairy, but they are most plentiful in our carbohydrate sources. Remember, b-vitamins are the only vitamins that direction fight stress and help your body manage that stress hormone cortisol. Without enough b’s, cortisol has a higher change of running the show in your body. Long-term stress has been proven to cause disease in the body and can also increase lead to feelings of anxiety, decreased ability to relax, and a decreased ability to fall asleep, stay asleep and sleep deep enough to reach the REM (the restorative part of sleep) stage of sleep. Click B-Vitamin Recipes and Plant Based B-Recipes recipes that contain a high amount of b-vitamins! Learn from these examples to help yourself put together your own ideas too!
- Find your Fun! Remember to put something in your schedule each day that you find fun, meaningful or relaxing. Something that means something to you and brings life back to you after all that you give out. It can be something as simple as reading an excerpt from an inspirational book, taking a walk with a pod cast, calling one different friend for a quick connection, or playing a board game with a family member. Or something elaborate as a dinner out with a friend, getting a massage or other kind of spa service, booking a half day for yourself and just going anywhere and doing whatever you feel like! Just something to take you out of your head from the doing and tasking, to putting you back into your body and really living. These ideas are so good for your nervous system, body and mind.
If you’d like to work together to find balance in your nutrition, schedule a meet and greet phone call with me!
Have a joyous, peaceful and restful holiday and end of year!
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Nicole is recognized state-wide and nationally as a Registered Dietitian and is also a Certified dietitian through the state of Wisconsin. She is also a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer and Physical Fitness Instructor.
Nicole’s areas of expertise include: Wellness and lifestyle coaching, weight management, behavior modification, eating disorders, vegetarian lifestyles, gluten-free living, sports nutrition, recipe and menu design and development.