by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
The holidays are just around the corner and I bet the last thing you are considering right now is how the holiday season will effect your adrenal function, leading to health challenges and symptoms.
What you may be thinking about though is how often you find yourself fatigued, stress out and dealing with weight gain during the holiday season.
Maybe this is the year you do something proactive so you do not have to run into the same obstacles?
Before we get into what you can do, let’s discuss the underlying challenges with the holiday season for most of us and the impact this has on your health.
Here is a quick and easy list of challenges during the holidays with this typically starting just before Thanksgiving and extending through the New Year celebration.
- We often get much less sleep
- Too much alcohol
- Simply too much food
- Poor food choices
- Stress of being overwhelmed
- Financial stress of gift purchases
- Feelings of loneliness and leading to depressed feelings
- Having to “hang out” with relatives who’s company you may not enjoy
- Holiday travel
- And the list goes on
Based on this list you see one common denominator which is stress. You have mental and emotional stress here, physical stress, inflammatory stress all of which are underlying triggers for adrenal stress.
And do you know what happens when you consistently stress your adrenals?
- Poor sleep
- Weight gain, especially around the mid section
- Poor focus and low mental clarity
- Bloating due to poor digestion
- Suspect to colds and flu
- Energy crashes
Now you can see the holiday challenges and what they lead to, doesn’t it make sense to take some action steps to eliminate or at least reduce the symptoms above?
I hope so!
Here are some tips for each of the challenges listed earlier in this article.
We often get much less sleep
Two suggestions here. Number one is to make it a point to show up at the holiday parties as they begin. This alone will typically keep you from staying out too late. You usually get the best food choices early in the party also. LOL!
The other suggestion is to simply make a health time frame boundary for your exit from the party. Once you have your time frame, set you smart phone or watch to go off and hit snooze until you leave. You’re the only one that can chose to head home for a good nights sleep, but these tips should help you.
If you find that the anxiety of the season is affecting your sleep patterns, the best recommendation I have for you is Relaxin. This will help your body in stimulating GABA receptors which in turn should help you deal with stress better and improve your sleep.
Too much alcohol
A great tip here is to always drink at least 16 ounces of water between each alcoholic beverage you consume. This will help with the dehydration of alcohol consumption and also lessen the amount you consume.
Another great tip is to make sure you only drink alcohol after you get some food in your stomach. If not, the alcohol will quickly absorb via the stomach lining and have a fast track to your brain. Not good for many reasons that I am sure you already understand. We have all seen what we are capable of when we get too much alcohol to the brain.
One last tip is to make sure you take an antioxidant after drinking. A simple and easy solution is to take about one teaspoon of the Depke Wellness Buffered Effer C (Vitamin C) in water after drinking. This will help with the oxidative and free radical damage that alcohol will cause.
Simply too much food
Some simply tips here. Number one is to not go to your holiday parties staving as this is an over consumption disaster.
Another great tip is to only fill one plate with your appetizers. We often take a small plate and fill is several times without recognizing that we ate enough food for 3 meals. If this is a sit down dinner, such as Thanksgiving or another holiday meal, just fill your plate once and skip the seconds. After all, you’re going to be provided a container with left overs to bring home anyway.
It would also help you to take your Depke Wellness Prime Enzyme Support with your food to help with digestion and the potential of bloating. Take this at the onset of your food consumption and if you are eating with some regularity throughout the evening, because you ignored the previous tip, be sure to take another enzyme later in the evening. If you are consuming a considerable amount of protein with your large Thanksgiving or other holiday dinner, it would also benefit you to take your Depke Wellness Prime Stomach Acid Support toward the end of your meal. This will help with that typical over consumption.
Poor food choices
Most of us, myself included, will make some less than optimal food choices through the holiday season, but the key is to go for the healthy food first. I tend to look for some veggies. guacamole and shrimp first, so I can get my 3 macronutrients in, which is my protein, carb (veggies) and fat. If I eat this first and keep up my water consumption there is not much room for the bad stuff.
To help your digestive integrity it is essential to have the beneficial bacteria needed for proper digestion. Since your holiday stress patterns typically inhibit this proper bacteria level, it is always a good idea to take 2 Depke Wellness Prebiotoc/Probiotic Formula when your wake in the morning or before you head out to your holiday party. This can also be very helpful in the case you get accidentally exposed to bacterial food poisoning.
Stress of being over whelmed
Take a quick break and enjoy 3 – 5 deep belly breaths when you feel overwhelmed. This will help to reset your nervous system and your thought process in that moment.
I have two supplement recommendations here that may be huge for you. The first is the Depke Wellness Prime Adrenal Support, which contains pathothenic acid known as Vitamin B5. This is essential for proper adrenal hormone production.
Financial stress of gift purchases
As mentioned in another area in this article, this is where boundaries are essential. Chose your gift cash amount boundary and hold your integrity to this.
Check in with the families and see if they are open to a grab bag or other means of cost cutting during the holidays. After all, the holidays should not be about driving up credit card debt and stressing your out.
If you find yourself spending money for gifts based on the approval of others, there may be some deeper emotional components to address and I would recommend seeking assistance with releasing these emotions.
Feelings of loneliness and leading to depressed feelings
If you find yourself dropping into depression during the holidays because you are alone, get out there and volunteer. There are plenty of avenues to donate your time to help others and I would bet that the joy you feel of helping others in need during this season will sweep away those feelings of depression.
When there are low levels of depression or any other challenging emotion, this is often caused by poor neurotransmitter function. When I have clients challenged on this level, I typically recommend Chi Happiness, which helps with neurotransmitter communication. One of the keys to happiness! Chi Happiness that is…
Having to “hang out” with relatives who’s company you may not enjoy
The highest level of advice I can provide here is to be the most loving and compassionate person you can be, expecting nothing in return. Often we go into these situations with our best foot forward but our downfall is expectations. When you don’t get back what you give you find yourself angry and resentful. In the end, this does what? Ruins your time. Don’t let others take away your ability to have a good time. Remember, be the most loving and compassionate person you can be, no matter what.
If you follow this tip, you’ll most likely find that your ability to maintain love and compassion will have a positive effect on those around you. And if somebody else wants to be cranky and ruin their own fun, let that be OK.
I am going to assume this involves a airplane flight. First make sure you stay hydrated, this is the number one challenge with flying for most. Drink at least 20 ounces of water before your flight and sip on water throughout your entire flight. This will also have you up visiting the bathroom a few times, with the movement providing a benefit also.
Since you are likely going to be trapped in this environment with others that are sick, it is a good idea to enhance your respiratory system. Whenever my wife and I travel we always take 2 Bamboo Extract before and after our flight. This is a powerful supplement with antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also excellent for upper respiratory infections and can assist your body to very quickly for acute respiratory problems.
Doesn’t it make sense to be proactive for the holiday season, so you do not have to suffer with the regular fatigue, stress, weight gain and more that you have dealt with in the past. Protect your adrenals and protect your health!
Take the lifestyle and supplemental prevention tips in this article and make it through your holiday season with ease!