How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Woman reading in festive clothing and drinking coffee

The holidays can be an overwhelming time: There is a never ending to-do list, unpredictable weather, visiting relatives near and far, and food is everywhere! I’m inviting you to reclaim your health this holiday season with a little helping hand from some of my favourite natural products.

So, if you’re already feeling emotionally or physically stressed out about the holidays, have no fear! Check out our list below for the best natural remedies to help you stay healthy during the holidays, whether you need relief from travel, digestion, stress or sleep.

Travel

For many, the holidays means traveling from one holiday gathering to the next, which can bring a lot of stress as it interrupts your routine and demands a lot of time on the road. I have a few hacks that can help keep you on track during this crazy time of year:

  • Probiotics. When you’re exposed to things like new food and environments, it’s important to ensure your digestive and immune system remains strong. I love bringing a shelf stable probiotic on the road with me that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it easy to maintain healthy gut bacteria at all times.

  • Healthy Snacks. Healthy snacks while travelling are lifesavers! There’s nothing worse than being stuck with limited fast-food options while you’re on the road and are in need of fuel to get you from point A to B. I recommend making sure your bags are always stocked with the best healthy snacks that are packed with nutrition to keep your energy levels high, like raw nuts and seeds, protein bars and crunchy chickpeas!

  • Sleep Aid. We’ll talk more about this below, but if you’re headed in a different time zone, or even just struggle sleeping due to the chaos of the holidays or change of scenery, having natural herbs on hand to help you relax will ensure your sleep cycle stays on track. We recommend natural remedies like melatonin, valerian root or chamomile.

Digestion

It’s no secret that with the holidays comes plenty of food and many opportunities for overindulgence. This can lead to feeling weighed down, bloated, tired and anxious, which is the last thing you need when you’re home with your loved ones! I’m not going to tell you to refrain from indulging during the holidays, but it is important to practice moderation and listen to your body. Here are some other natural methods to support your digestive system over the holidays:

  • Digestive Enzymes. If you’re preparing for a big holiday meal, try taking a digestive enzyme before you eat. Digestive enzymes help break down your food so your body can absorb the nutrients and reduce the symptoms of indigestion.

  • Probiotics. Probiotics will become your best friend this holiday season. As I mentioned above, probiotics are great for maintaining healthy gut flora. They will help optimize your digestive system and reduce the unwanted symptoms of indigestion, like bloating, gas, and will even help keep your immune system in check.

  • Ingredient Swap. While I don’t expect you to skip out on holiday cookies, swapping out classic ingredients for something more natural may help your digestive system and be a bit more gentle on your body overall. Instead of using inflammatory refined flours, try an almond flour or coconut flour! Or, instead of refined sugars, try using coconut sugar or raw honey.

Stress

Juggling schedules over the holidays can lead to burnout, but I want your holidays to be all about being joyful and spending time with the ones you love! There are a number of herbs that can help calm your nervous system, boost cognitive function and help you adapt to stress to take some of the edge off. Here are a couple of my favourites:

  • Medicinal Mushrooms. Chaga, reishi, cordyceps… Medicinal mushrooms are an incredible adaptogen with extraordinary health benefits. What are adaptogens? Adaptogens are a class of healing plants known to help the body cope with stress. Try supplementing with these superfoods to combat anxiety and fatigue while boosting your immune system and cognitive function.

  • Ashwagandha. Another favourite adaptogen, ashwagandha can help with anxiety, exhaustion, and boost your energy levels and immune system. It’s been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its rejuvenation and restorative benefits to treat both physical and mental exhaustion.

Sleep

While a lot of you may struggle with getting a good night’s rest as it is, the chaos of a new schedule, travel and more events than you’re used to over the holidays can even further disrupt your sleep. Finding the right natural remedy to help you relax for the night will make the world of a difference, and will provide the benefits you’re looking for without the unpleasant side effects that can come from sleep meds. I’m sharing a few of my favourite natural remedies to help me sleep through the night below:

  • Melatonin. This is one of the most common recommendations for a natural sleep aid. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by your body, and supplementing it can help promote normal sleep patterns and provide a more restful sleep. It works by activating the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and ultimately improves the body’s ability to fall asleep by letting it know it’s bed time.

  • Valerian Root. If melatonin doesn’t work for you, valerian root might do the trick to help soothe and relax before falling asleep. This herb promotes a more peaceful sleep and can provide relief from discomforts associated with insomnia, like stress, anxiety and muscle tension. Try it out in capsule, tincture or tea!

  • Chamomile. There is something so simple and relaxing about sipping a warm cup of tea before bed. Make that a chamomile tea, and you’re in for a super relaxing night’s sleep. Chamomile has been used as a sleep aid for thousands of years because of its ability to ease your muscles, relax nerves and act as a mild sedative.

Have a happy and healthy holidays!

~The Vitarock Team


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