Staying Healthy this Holiday Season

By Athlete's Care on December 11, 2013

By Teresa Tsui, MSc, ND

Celebrations, opportunities to indulge, travel plans, and a change of routine all make the holidays a very special time of year.  There are many happy moments to share during the holidays, however they can also become times of stress, over-eating, and contribute to inevitable sickness.  Here are some tips to stay healthy so that you can enjoy the holidays to the fullest:

Acknowledge and manage stressors

Preparations for special occasions, meeting expectations, and busy schedules can all be sources of stress.  Ways to alleviate the stress of the holidays include:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Acknowledge stressors (such as people, events) by slowing down, setting realistic expectations, and notice how stress affects you.
  • Adopt a predictable routine. 

Some herbs, vitamins, and mindfulness are helpful to increase the body’s resilience during stressful times.  

  • “Adaptogens” can help the body combat stress – examples are Siberian Ginseng and Astragalus. 
  • Certain B vitamins, vitamins C and D are also useful for improving our body’s response to stress.

Speak with a qualified health care provider before taking any natural health products such as vitamins and herbs since they are not suitable for everyone.

Adopt moderation with food and drink

With the abundance of treats, food, and drink at special occasions, it is very tempting to over-eat or drink a few more alcoholic beverages around this time of year.  Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Limit yourself to 1-2 alcoholic drinks per occasion.  Drink with food to slow down the absorption of alcohol. 
  • Limit sugar since sweets and refined grains can create fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and reduce your body’s ability to fight disease.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. 
  • Certain digestive enzymes and probiotics can also assist with digestive function.

Consult a qualified health care provider to make sure you take high quality products and the right amounts.

By acknowledging and managing stressors, along with adopting moderate behaviours, your holidays will be more enjoyable.  Schedule a consultation with a qualified professional for therapeutic massage, acupuncture, lifestyle and nutritional counseling, as these are other tools that can help you reduce stress during the holiday season.

Stay tuned for my next blog post on New Year’s Resolutions to be released in January 2014.

About naturopathic medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a complementary and integrative approach to primary health care aiming to address the cause of disease while supporting your body’s ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine is covered by most extended healthcare plans. 

Teresa Tsui, MSc, ND practices at Athlete’s Care Empress Walk, improving the quality of life and performance of athletes.  Call 416-479-8684416-479-8684 to learn how naturopathic medicine can help you.