Updated: May 19
And so it starts….the holiday rush. Well, it actually started last month, but we are now in the thick of it. With school events, parties, family gatherings, and travel, we put a lot of stress on our bodies and minds which can weaken our immune systems and lead to unwanted illnesses. That being said, here are some tools from Heights of Health to help you manage your stress response and strengthen your immune system for a more enjoyable holiday season and beyond.
Practice Mindfulness. Yes, this is a popular word being tossed around these days, but it truly helps. As is said, depression has a focus on the past and anxiety on the future, but when we are present in the moment, everything shifts. Take time throughout the day to sit still and breathe, directing your attention to what you hear, feel and sense. If done with a sense of gratitude for the gift of the moment, you will have a great reset on your day. Set a phone reminder so the day doesn’t slip away.
Exercise! Or, more importantly, Move! Even walking for 10 minutes can help improve your immune response, decrease stress levels, and clear your head. Make it part of your routine, schedule it in. The more sedentary you are, the faster your body ages and the less resilient you are. Set a timer that will go off every 20-30 minutes reminding you to stand up and move around or take a short walk.
Limit Sugar – easier said than done, I know, especially while you are face to face with that triple chocolate brownie….but, it will make a huge difference if you are aware of the amount of sugar you are consuming and choose to cut back where you can. Opt-out of that cinnamon roll and don’t put jelly on the toast, replace the sugar in your coffee with stevia or monk fruit and choose to forgo the sweetened mix drink, or eat only half that triple chocolate brownie. In addition to helping you pack on the pounds, sugar depresses immune function, feeds common candida/yeast overgrowth and causes inflammation.
Drink Up! Water, that is… Proper hydration is essential to help remove toxins from the system (like the ones produced by that triple chocolate brownie) and brings essential nutrients into the cells. Aim for at least ½ of your body weight in ounces per day. And, no, coffee and wine do not count…
Sleep Tight… Getting off of your sleep routine is easy to do during the holidays. Our bodies heal and repair while sleeping and when we are tired, our brains do not function well and we are more susceptible to stress and illness. Make rest a priority.
Up your supplement game. Taking extra magnesium, Vitamin C and B Complex can help our bodies better cope with stress. In fact, when we are experiencing physical and/or emotional stress, we burn these nutrients up very quickly. Additionally, if you are looking for something to help you feel more relaxed, try one of our favorites, l-Theanine, an amino acid from green tea that provides “Alert Relaxation.”
Wishing you a safe, joy-filled and healthy holiday season!