7 Tips To Finding Balance This Holiday...and a healthier, happier family
Updated: Nov 13
Ready or not…
The holidays, in all their shining, inflammatory, over-stressed glory, are right around the corner. In my experience, this is the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be a time of chronic fatigue, poor eating habits, illness and of generally being overwhelmed.
In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 420 people voluntarily snorted either a nasal spray solution containing the cold virus or one containing a placebo. The volunteers who reported feeling really stressed prior to exposure were the most likely to develop a cold, while those who reported being less stressed were more likely to effectively fight off the virus.
How about we talk about how to get ahead of the holiday negatives so we can thoroughly enjoy everything this special season has to offer?
Here are 7 tips to a balanced holiday and a healthier family!
1. Let Go Of Perfection
This is an area I struggle with too, so I sympathize. Holiday perfectionism can really steal the magic from the holidays which is the opposite of what we are striving for!
The key to letting go of perfectionism is first to recognize it. Holiday perfectionists need all the things done and they must be done to - yes, perfection. (Food network worthy meals, the most gloriously perfect tree with coordinated colors and themes throughout the house including gift wrap, attending every single event… and the list goes on) The exhausting result can often be disappointment in one’s self and others who may not be performing up to your standards. This leads to massive amounts of stress and unhappy loved ones.
It’s time to chill, sister.
Tame your inner perfectionist by letting go of a few things;
Give yourself grace to get most but not all of your expectations met. Be OK with everything not getting done and possibly not being perfectly perfect.
Observe how these expectations are making you feel and how they are affecting those around you. Be honest with yourself about those observations.
Embrace being an imperfect human like the rest of us.
2. Choose your commitments carefully
Burning the candle at both ends for weeks or even months is a recipe for a breakdown in optimal physical and emotional well-being. If yours is like most families, there will be an impossible number of school, neighborhood, church, family and community events to keep even the most enthusiastic holiday socializer exhausted. My recommendation is to;
Make a list of all the parties and events that could potentially go on your calendar. Have an honest discussion about which ones matter enough to take top priority. We will call those your ‘must-do’s’.
Mark the must-do’s on your calendar and see how congested it looks.
If the must-do’s have not overly scheduled you, add one more event making sure to leave plenty of days and evenings that are open for free-flow time, movie night or some good old R&R. If the must-do’s have filled your calendar, give a polite and guilt-free “no” to the rest. Prioritizing will take a huge amount of strain off your schedule which will leave down time that your immune system will thank you for. Can’t you just feel the relief of not having to go and do every. Single. thing??
3. Indulge In Moderation – You can have a little cake AND eat it too!
Nobody wants to be told they aren’t allowed their favorite holiday dish because it’s bad for them. Choose your favorite can’t-live-without-it-holiday dish and have a small portion! ( Mine is mashed potatoes and Nutella cheesecake btw )
Balance is where it’s at! Fill your plate with the healthier stuff but leave a little corner for your indulgent favorite at each special meal. You won’t feel deprived, while at the same time, not sabotaging your health. If we’re being honest, nobody feels good after over-indulging weekend after weekend from mid-November to Jan 2nd anyway.
Science backs the idea that the overwhelming majority of our health status is determined by our food and lifestyle choices. Interestingly, however, stressing about eating bad food is bad for us too. The solution is to find that middle ground between deprivation and a moderate allowance of indulgence!
It’s ok to have a little cake and eat it too.
4. Make Foundational Care a Priority
Foundational care during the holidays should include;
A great place to start with this is evaluating how you feel and how you are reacting to the world and those around you. How do you feel? Are you sacrificing sleep? Are you feeling run down? How would you rate your stress level? What can be taken off the to-do list?
5. Take Time To Check In With Your Loved Ones
You can’t make necessary healthy adjustments for your family if you aren’t aware of how everyone is doing. I mean how they are really doing.
A check-in can simply be observing their moods and behavior. Do the kids seem over-tired? Are they cranky or acting out? Is your spouse burning it at both ends? If the answer to these is yes, it’s time for a time-out.
Our moods have a profound effect on our white blood cells (immune cells, such as B cells, T cells, natural killer [NK] cells, and macrophages). When we are relaxed and happy, our cells produce chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and relaxin, which have a strengthening effect on the immune system!
If you want your family healthier this season, find a way to slow down, relax and just be rather than always doing.
6. Nutrient Supplementation- add a little extra
Stress and holidays go hand in hand. Stress and illness also go hand in hand. As your stress levels go up, so does your need for foundational and immune enhancing supplements.
Here is a list of supplements you can start before the holidays to ensure your body is strong and resilient for what’s coming!
· Foundational supplements. These include your whole food multi vitamin, high potency fish oil and a really good probiotic ( the gut is where your immune system lives!) These should be taken all year long.
Vitamin C. Preferably in the natural form such as Rose Hips.
Vitamin D with K7
Zinc. Short term only as it can interfere with balance of other essential minerals.
Mushroom complex (AMAZING immune strengthener)
Adaptogenic immunomodulators- These are fantastic during the holidays as they help balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal ( HPA) axis. By doing so they help keep harmony in the body by affecting hormonal regulation of the immune system. They also help enhance T-cell and B-cell immunity. My favorite adaptogenic immunomodulators are Ashwaghanda, Rhodiola, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Eleuthero and Ginseng.
7. Get Your Chiropractic Adjustment!
Many of you already know first-hand the importance and impact of the chiropractic adjustment on wellness. Regular adjustments can;
Have a positive effect on immune response by stimulating white blood cell activity.
Reduce the effects of stress on the body
Modulate blood pressure
Improve quality sleep
Reduce frequency and severity of headaches, especially stress-related
I hope these tips will light the way to a healthier, happier and more stress-free holiday season for you all.
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