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Posted: December 14, 2022
’Tis the season to be jolly … and busy … and stressed … and scrambling to get it all done. The holidays can be a time of fun and excitement, but also a stressful time that involves planning, time management, and often less sleep. The busy time is inevitable this time of year, but there are a few things to try to help reduce extra stress that can pile up this time of year.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by planning additional holiday meals and gatherings, it might help to take a step back and simplify your normal meals. Planning meals with many ingredients can be overwhelming to some – but remember the basics. Balancing the plate with lean protein, fruits and vegetables, grains and dairy will make sure you have all the essential nutrients to tackle the holiday season. That could be something as simple as a whole-wheat pasta with red sauce, chicken and steamed broccoli.
For help with nutrition, contact your Vitamine Wellness dietitians to set up a free discovery call. Dietitians can help with meal-planning tips to help as well! Click here to connect with our Vitamine Wellness dietitians for more support.
Make sure to prioritize rest and taking care of your own health. It is hard to fill from an empty cup. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or take a step back from what stresses you out. Stress and lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. Try to stay consistent with a healthy sleep, exercise and nutrition routine to help keep the sickness away. Supplementing with a multivitamin or boosting vitamin C as a preventative measure may help too!
Workouts are often sacrificed during the holiday chaos, but if that’s your way of relieving stress, try to schedule it in and make it happen. Studies show that exercise can actually improve sleep quality, which is great this time of year. It also plays a role with digestion and weight management, which can help you feel better while eating different foods than normal around the holidays. There’s no need to stress about exercising extra to “earn” the holiday foods (dietitians believe in everything in moderation!), but having some movement in the routine can benefit stress and mental health.
It’s OK to simplify things when it comes to planning holiday gatherings. Juggling all of the tasks before the holidays can feel like you aren’t spending quality time with your loved ones. If it helps relieve the stress, look at where you can cut corners without sacrificing the things you love about the holidays. Whether that’s getting food from a restaurant or premade from a grocery store, or asking your guests to bring a dish to your house, that can take some of the pressure off of hosting. If you prioritize your top desires for the holiday meals and activities, cutting some corners on side dishes or extra plans is probably OK! Maybe that means making your family’s favorite side dishes, but getting the ham or turkey prepared from a grocery store or restaurant.
The most important thing this time of year is spending quality time with loved ones. It’s better to be present and healthy with friends and family, rather than stressed and mentally unavailable. Ask for help when you need it, take a step back, and schedule in some down time. Take care of yourself, and have a fun, healthy holiday season!