Holiday stress: it’s already crushing me! Between hosting Thanksgiving and indulging in (mostly healthy) holiday treats, to travel plans, and wrapping up our homeschooling semester; I’m really having to work to keep myself sane and have a healthy holiday season.
The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but if we’re not careful, we can succumb to seasonal health hazards. From the flu season to stress, to added toxins, and junkie foods; holiday health hazards are everywhere. Here’s how to avoid them and have a healthy holiday.
Have a healthy holiday, despite these holiday health hazards
Being aware is the first step, then you can be proactive to avoid these holiday health pitfalls. Here are a few reasons to be proactive now:
You’re more likely to get sick.
We all know about cold and flu season but what causes it, really? It’s a combination of things, and it starts with Halloween.
Halloween kicks off the official season of junk food, when candy seems to start pouring in from every direction. Combine the junk foods with stress and anxiety over the perfect meal, the perfect gifts, and fulfilling holiday obligations. Your immune system can take a real beating!
Here’s how to support your immune system and avoid sickness so you can have a healthy holiday:
- Drink bone broth
- Boost your immune system with supplements like elderberries (where to buy elderberry syrup) and zinc (where to buy zinc supplement)
- Make Gingerbread Man Immune-Boosting Gummies
- Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar
- Take detox baths frequently
With a little extra care, you can support your immune system through the holiday hustle and bustle while avoiding typical holiday and flu season illness!
Christmas decorations harbor surprising toxins
I’ve been disappointed in the last couple years to learn about how toxic those jolly Christmas decorations can actually be. It’s made me begin to dread holiday decorating. Let’s be honest with a two-year-old ready to derail decorations at any moment, I’m not that excited about decorating anyway!
Did you know that Christmas trees can harbor everything from lead to mold? It turns out you should be rather picky when choosing a Christmas tree to avoid these hazards.
Learn how to choose a healthy Christmas tree and limit your exposure to toxins.
In addition to Christmas trees, Christmas lights are also likely to contain lead. It’s often found in the vinyl casings of the light strands. Look for LED lights like those at Ikea, which adhere to stricter environmental standards.
Junkie holiday food is around every corner
You have two choices at the holidays: recognize that it’s a special season and eat everything you deny yourself the rest of the year, or stick with the healthy diet you know helps you feel your best.
I usually go with something in between but the problem with that is two-fold. First, the occasion to indulge in junkie food is around every corner. Secondly, once you get a taste for the sweet stuff you want MORE. It’s really a vicious circle!
Instead of making decisions you’ll regret later, make a plan.
- Make treats you can have and take them along with you to parties.
- Know if you plan to indulge and give yourself boundaries.
- Eat lots of good fats through the holiday season to keep you satiated and keep sugar cravings at bay.
- Get a good holiday cookbook to get you through the season guilt free.
Above all, know what your body needs and can handle then eat accordingly!
Stress seeks to derail your joy
Stress is a major immune-system killer and stealer of joy. Stress:
- elevates your blood pressure
- robs you of sleep
- makes you cranky
- causes tension headaches
- lends itself to weight gain
- is a big, fat, stinky holiday kill-joy
Instead of allowing yourself to become stressed, refuse to let the holiday hustle take you prisoner. Only commit to events you’re really excited about; keep gift-giving simple; and finally make time to breathe and relax.
To negate the effects of any stress that does creep in, pay special attention to supporting your body through adaptogenic herbs. They provide your body with vitality and stamina, are calming, and help your body to deal with stress by lowering cortisol and other stress responses.
Take extra care to support your adrenal glands through the holidays. I promise you, you will feel so much better!
Stuff threatens to take over your home
Every holiday season, I determine that I’ll come up with really great, unique, but simple gifts for my kids. And every year, I feel like I failed. Two weeks after Christmas, we always end up with piles of un-played-with and broken toys.
I bought them Kindles last year thinking they’d be great to help with schoolwork, but none of them are still operating at this point. I’ve bought them craft kits and art supplies. Do you know what happens to those? The two-year-old paints masterpieces on the walls and so the supplies get chucked. In all my effort to choose the perfect gifts for my kids, my home just gets more and more crowded with stuff!
You know what gifts have lasted? The homemade block chest my husband made our kids several years ago. Those are still one of my kids’ favorite toys to this day. It turns out the more simple the gift; the more my kids seem to enjoy them long-term.
Consider keeping it simple this holiday season. I’ve always like the idea of buying kids four items: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
Take back the holiday season from stuff and stress. Focus on the good stuff: quality time with your kids, baking cookies together, and creating memories they’ll remember way longer than that one gift they were so excited about for two days!
You can have a healthy holiday
With a little planning and determination, you can avoid the typical health pitfalls that come with the holiday season. By eating well, supporting your immune system and stress mechanisms, and focusing on what really matters this holiday season; you can make Christmas what it’s supposed to be instead of an opportunity to get sick.