Surviving the Holidays: Tips for Staying Healthy & Stress-Free

The holidays are a time of excitement for many Canadians, unfortunately for others it’s just stressful. Whatever your feelings are about this time of year, chances are you want / NEED to stay healthy to get through it. Below are 4 tips for staying healthy throughout the season.

  1. Cold and Flu season has also started and attending holiday functions and parties increases your exposure to germs. Avoid viruses by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, not touching your face when you are out and supporting your immune system with a well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits and veggies. You can also help to maintain your immune function by adding in a daily vitamin C and D If you do start to feel that dreaded tickle at the back of your throat, try Cold Fighter. A combination of echinacea, ginger, vitamin C and zinc, it helps to shorten the duration of a cold - because no one wants to spend their holidays sick!

  2. Holidays can be stressful. Sometimes it’s good stress; trying to attend all the holiday get-togethers to see loved ones. Other times, it’s plain bad stress such as working late to finish up projects before going on holiday, getting stuck in traffic and circling parking lots over and over until you find the ‘perfect’ gift. A quick breather may be all you need to reset and start again. Try taking a deep breath, hold for a slow count of three and then when you breathe out, imagine the anger and stress leaving your body with the air you expel. If you are exhausted and stressed out, you can also try Jamieson’s Mushroom Complex. Health Canada states this 1 a day product works “to help increase energy and resistance to stress in case of mental and physical fatigue related to stress.”[1]

  3. For those that suffer from IBS, the stress of the holidays and change in eating habits can trigger symptoms. Beyond stress reduction methods and trying to stick to your regular meals, certain strains of probiotics can also help. For instance, Probi Digestis® is a particular strain that according to Health Canada “with daily use, helps to provide ongoing relief of IBS symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating.”[2] Don’t let IBS stop you from getting out of the house and enjoying the holiday season to the fullest.

  4. Do your favourite holiday foods cause gas and bloating? You might be surprised to learn that the average person passes gas 12 - 25 times per day. Although gas is a normal human function, it can be embarrassing and also uncomfortable if it causes bloating. Swallowed air makes up to 90% of the gas in our digestive tract. We are able to release some of this air from the stomach by belching, while the rest moves through the digestive tract and leaves through the rectum (passing gas / flatulence). Bacteria in our large intestine produce the rest of the gas when they are able to feed on undigested foods that we have eaten. They produce hydrogen and methane gases, which can have an unpleasant smell. Ensuring your body has the enzymes required to break down different types of foods efficiently leaves less food for bacteria to feed on.[3] If you are revising your holiday outfits to allow extra room for bloating, or desperately hope there is a dog at the party to blame gas on, there is another option. Bring some digestive enzymes and take them with your meals.

At some point during this busy holiday season, and as 2019 comes to a close, take a moment and think about all the good things that have happened this year. Take those positive thoughts and use them to spread joy to others in whatever way you can. Wishing you quality time with those you love, and a happy and healthy New Year.

 

[1] Health Canada. Product Information Natural Product Number 80087030. Accessed Nov 15, 2019: https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80087030

[2] Health Canada. Natural Product Number 80052022. Accessed Nov 15, 2019 at: https://health-products.canada.ca/Inhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80052022

[3] Dietitians of Canada. Got Gas? Find out why and how to avoid it. Accessed Nov 08, 2019 at: https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Factsheets/Got-Gas.aspx