3 Simple Holiday Health Tips


The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy being around loved ones. However, the hustle and bustle leading up to the holidays can also result in stress, lowered immunity, and illness. Want to stay healthy and stress-free this holiday season? Here are a few simple tips:

Manage Stress To Avoid Grinch-like Tendencies

Shopping for gifts and groceries to prepare for the holidays can be quite stressful. Plus, traveling can put anyone in a Grinch-like mood. Be sure to take time out of your day to relax. If you live in a warmer climate, going for a daily walk is a great idea---plus, the sun exposure can aid in upping your Vitamin D (which helps boost immunity). Live in a colder climate? Just be sure to bundle up and don't forget that scarf. You may not get as much sun exposure due to the added layers, but every bit counts! Try taking a few minutes out of your day to meditate. Not sure where to start? Believe it or not, there is an app for that.  Essential oils such a lavender can also help calm the mind. Rather than using synthetic air sprays or candles, why not treat yourself by purchasing some organic lavender oil and a diffuser. Websites like Floracopeia sell high end oils and diffusers. They even make calming essential oil blends to help you relax (and even sleep better). I use some of their oils in my clinic. Check out my previous blog post to learn more about how stress impacts the body and what you can do to feel better. 

Embrace Those Silent Nights

I've mentioned this many times in previous blog posts, but since I'm such a HUGE believer in the power of sleep for boosting immunity and overall wellness, I'm going to say it again. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. It's FREE and very effective at keeping you healthy. Embrace this time when darkness begins earlier in the evening, and adjust your sleep schedule accordingly. Go to bed earlier and strive to get those 6-8 uninterrupted hours or healing sleep. Make sure your room is completely dark--no computer monitor lights or neighborhood lights peaking in. Blackout curtains work wonders to remove external light sources or keep it simple and purchase a sleep mask. Also, if you have a TV in your bedroom be sure to turn it off well before going to sleep. There are studies supporting the fact that exposure to light before bedtime can impact melatonin levels. Blue light emitted from electronics such as computer screens, tablets, and cell phones can also be an issue, especially in teens. Depressed levels of melatonin can result in sleep disruption. So aim to power down those devices well before bedtime. 

Beat The Bloat

Let's face it. For many people the holidays represent at time to indulge in those foods you only get this time of year. Are you really going to turn down grandma's homemade cookies after she spent hours baking them especially for you? The answer is most likely no. If you know you are going to indulge a little bit this holiday season, take that extra step to support your digestive health--especially if you already suffer from digestive issues such as bloating, gas, belching, discomfort. Now may be a good time to invest in a supplemental probiotic--an added bonus--probiotics don't only help with digestion, they also boost immunity. Supplemental digestive enzymes can also help you to digest your food and minimize bloating when eating those heavy holiday meals. Of course, the key is not to OVER-indulge on your favorite treats, and if you know a certain food is going to wreak havoc on your body, you may just need to avoid it. 

And of course....acupuncture and herbs can help strengthen your digestion. There are wonderful herbal formulas that can help with indigestion and bloating, so you may want to set up an herbal consult to find out what herbs are best for you. For example, I will sometimes recommend the very famous Chinese herbal formula Bao He Wan (Preserve Harmony Pill) to my patients. This formula helps to relieve food stagnation and harmonize the stomach. Something as simple as brewing some fresh ginger tea with honey can also help those digestion woes. Fresh ginger (called Sheng Jiang in Chinese Medicine) is warm and dispersing in nature. It benefits the stomach and alleviates nausea. From a Western perspective, ginger is known to soothe the lining of the stomach and balance gastric juices. 

Ginger Tea Recipe
Slice 3-5 pieces of fresh ginger approximately 1/2 inch thick
Boil in approximately 1 cup of water 5-10 minutes
Strain out the ginger
Sip the tea slowly
If the tea feels too spicy for you add a little bit of organic honey

Hoping these simple tips help you to stay healthy this holiday season!

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. The information and opinions presented are intended for educational purposes only and they are not intended to be medical advice. It is advised you contact your healthcare provider prior to starting any type of program or protocol, starting or stopping supplements/herbs/medications, making any major dietary changes, or beginning any new form of physical activity. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care provider before using products or protocols based on this content.

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Posted on December 11, 2014 and filed under digestion, sleep, stress, immunity.