Healthy Holiday Season

The holidays can be a trigger from many people in many different ways. When the holiday season comes up people find themselves facing challenges, past memories and experiences. Many have dysfunctional family dynamics, many have issues with relationships and many have issues with the opposite which is lonesomeness in a time in which we have had the idea of what "family" "holidays" are supposed to look like.

The stress starts in the fall, around Thanksgiving. traveling, scheduling, and gathering can beautiful and it can be uncomfortable for some. Some of the issues that tend to arise around family dynamics, scheduling, conflicts and financial and social pressure usually lead to some form of sedation for many people. The source of sedation can present itself in many different ways, some use food to cope which can be restriction of food or stress eating, some use cigarettes, some use sugar as a subconscious way to add sweetness to their life when in reality what they may need is love. And some may resort to drugs and alcohol to numb down the anxiety that engaging in family dynamics and pressure can evoke.

All of the rush around the holidays, lack of time management and self care, excess sugar consumption, excess alcohol consumption and emotional stress can increase a rise in the production of hormones in the body that are stress response chemicals. Those hormones are acidic in their PH therefore building acidity in the body's PH. This suppresses the immune system, alters the brain chemistry and the capacity for people to deal with stress in a healthy way.

Meditation and Yoga can give you tools to cope with stress. Both practices stem from the ancient Health System of Ayurveda. And both share the breath as a conduit for transformation by acting on the nervous system through the Vagus nerve.

  • Taking 5-10 minutes of your day to sit and direct your attention on breathing is beneficial in preparing your nervous system to deal with adversity and adapt to stress.

  • Yoga can help you feel better in your body and teaches people how to focus on being in the present moment and not reacting to what is the past or what will come next.

Food is also a contributor to feeling out of balance during the holidays. There are cider doughnuts, pies, heavier and richer meals, intense stress around weight management, and most people increase the intake of alcohol around festivities or as a way to cope with anxiety and stress. Establishing a clean eating around the holidays does not have to be boring or tasteless or meatless...It can be delicious, balanced and food has the power of altering your body chemistry to help you deal r with stress, with weight management and food has even been linked to addiction management and prevention.

  • Choose vegetables that are seasonal and local

  • Incorporate leafy greens into your holiday meals

  • Allow yourself to enjoy dessert without over indulging, try a gluten free dairy free recipe.

  • Be present and aware of your alcohol consumption and the reasons why you may be consuming alcohol to begin with.

This Holiday season, make self care a priority. You have the ability to choose who and what you give your power to. Be present. Choose gratitude. If there are family dynamics that may trigger unhealthy behavior patterns make sure you are clear in what serves your best interest and your health above all else.

To your Health & Happiness,

Andrea

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