If you’ve been following along with me a while, you know I’m a big believer in the power of positivity, but I have struggled a lot with actually enjoying the holidays. In my family, there have been a number of bad anniversaries and scary things that happened this time of year, so at a young age, my nervous system learned to freak out. I’m open to the idea that that could change one day, but it’s a process. Whether you love or hate the holidays, it can be a stressful time of year, which is why I’m sharing some of the tips and tricks I recommend to clients and use myself to help get through the holiday season!
- Baby your immune system
With cold and flu season thriving during the holiday season, I count on probiotics and prebiotics, vitamin C, elderberry, vitamin D, and oil of oregano to stay healthy and/or fight off the start of illness. Making these immune-boosting items part of your routine will go a long way in helping you feel your best.
- Stay well fueled
Sustaining your energy during this busy time of year is essential. I suggest becoming BFFs with well-balanced meals and snacks, specifically those rich in fiber (some of my favorite options are GG crackers to pair with hummus or guacamole or crumbled on top of soup or salad, beet or carrot chips , and chickpea snacks, eating protein and healthy fats at meals and snacks, adding collagen for extra protein to your water, coffee, or tea, working in veggies everywhere you can, and consuming greens in liquid form — I love these green superfood tablets from Amazing Grass, which you dissolve in water and that supply a full serving of veggies.
Most of all, remember that while it’s great to have a plan, being flexible with yourself and your circumstances is super important too! It’s okay to have a travel or holiday version of your usual healthy routine that is a little more streamlined.
The importance of staying hydrated cannot be emphasized enough, and though it’s easy to forget, it’s incredibly important! Make sure you consume plenty of water. If you just can’t stand the idea of plain water, seltzer, herbal tea like this delicious cacao tea, and fluid-rich items like soup, smoothies, and high-water fruits and veggies, are also awesome sources of hydration.
- Support regular digestion
Consuming high-fiber foods, drinking plenty of water, nourishing your body with probiotics and prebiotics, and avoiding triggers for stomach upset like sugar and artificial sweeteners, will help support a healthy and regular digestion. I also like to recommend magnesium citrate, which can be used to treat occasional constipation when you’re stressed or traveling or to soothe tension headaches. I always have a few single-serve packets of Natural Vitality Calm powder in my carry-on and keep a canister at home.
- Be active
Even when you find yourself in the busiest of times, make physical activity a priority. I remind my clients they’ll be most successful by choosing an activity they actually enjoy — something that makes them feel good and moves their body — and putting it on their calendar. It’s okay if it’s not the typical length or time or intensity — it can just about getting you through. If you’ll be traveling, try to have a travel-friendly option or map out local options at your destination like gyms, fitness studios, or hiking trails. If you’re visiting family, invite them to join you and make it a group activity. You can also try streaming workouts if you like to have an instructor or do a DIY HIIT workout, yoga flow, or Pilates sequence. If needed, you can also break your workout into parts throughout the day (for example, 10 minutes in the morning, 10 mid-day, and 10 in the evening).
Most importantly, remember: something is better than nothing.
- Get quality sleep
Setting a bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends, will help get your inner clock get into a sleep routine. When traveling or if you have a busy night, you can create a modified version of your bedtime routine. I also like to suggest using aromatherapy and CBD, and for my clients who may be crossing time zones, melatonin. Two key elements to quality sleep are keeping the bedroom cool and dark, and dressing in layers if you don’t know what the temperature will be where you’re going. Also, kee the phone away from your bed. If you can’t put it in another room, put it out of reach.
- Fight stress
While we can’t always control the stress which surrounds us, we can control how we respond to it, so it’s helpful to get real with yourself about what your triggers are and make a plan ahead of time. Try not to hold your feelings in; I like to recommend my clients journal their thoughts if it’s hard to talk things through with someone. You can also check in with a therapist (in person or online), and set expectations of yourself and others ahead of time. Remember that fueling ourselves properly, moving our body, and prioritizing sleep can all help fight stress as well.
- Build in recharge time
I know it’s hard, but it’s especially important to make time for yourself during a busy season. Take stock of what you need to do and what you can let go of, pencil in a few nights for yourself, say no to requests for your time when necessary, and put your own name on your calendar.
I go into detail about many of these suggestions (and so much more!) in my book, The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety, which you can preorder here.
I hope these tips help you survive —and thrive—this holiday season!
***Disclaimer: I onily mention products and services I use and recommend in real life. I buy everything in here with my own money, but this post may contain a few Amazon affiliate links