If you are feeling under the weather, stressed and not at your best health during the holidays, acupuncture can help. A little discipline in your lifestyle can also go a long way in keeping you healthy during the festive season.
A research study done at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies and published in the Journal of Endocrinology found that acupuncture can alter stress hormones when used on certain parts of the body. Researchers found that electroacupuncture blocks the elevated hormones due to stress as well as lowers the “fight or flight” response. Not only can acupuncture help lower stress, but conditions that arise from it as well such as depression, insomnia and anxiety. Here are some recommendations to help lower your stress during the holidays:
- Keep a routine. It is especially easy to lose your normal routine during the holidays due to festivities and the special occasions that tend to happen this time of year. Don’t abandon your healthy habits, keep your usual routine of diet and exercise, which is especially important when holiday foods and drinks come around. Try keeping a calendar to keep better track of your schedule.
- Prioritize. It is easy to take on too much during this time of year. On top of your normal schedule, there is the obligation to see family, attend gatherings and gift-giving. You can only do so much! Prioritize and don’t be afraid to say no if you simply don’t have enough time to commit to something. The holiday season is busy and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Watch the wallet. There is nothing that will stress you out more in the long run than spending too much money during the holidays. Make a budget and stick with it. It is incredibly easy to overspend during this time. Budget and allow yourself to spend a certain amount for the entire season, you’ll thank yourself after the holidays are over.
- Make time for yourself. Although it is the season for giving, make sure to make time for yourself too. It can be stressful and overwhelming when you try to constantly please others. It is ok to say no to events that you may feel obligated to go to. One of the most important ways to stay stress-free this season is to give yourself time to relax. Do yoga, read or any other activity you like to do to relax.
- Give Back. Volunteer at your local food back or donate to a clothing drive. Giving back to the community is always important, but especially during the holidays. Spending time helping out doesn’t just help others, but can benefit you as well.
- Don’t sweat the small things. Holidays are meant for family, friends and for celebration. Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is a time to relax and be thankful for the people in your life. Material objects come and go, but relationships will be there and are the most important thing of all. Put your job and your stress on the backburner for a bit and enjoy the people who mean the most around you.
We should allow ourselves to enjoy the holidays and the delicious food that comes with it. It is ok to indulge a little. Here are some tips on how to eat healthy during the holidays:
- Moderation. We’ve always heard the saying to enjoy everything in moderation, and that is definitely true when it comes to holiday foods. Don’t try to deprive yourself during the holidays, it most likely won’t go over well. Having an extra holiday treat here and there won’t kill you. You’re allowed to indulge a bit, just keep portions small when it comes to holiday desserts and make sure you limit how often you eat them. Going the whole season without any treats is cruel and will most likely end in binging later, so have your guilty pleasures, just keep them in moderation.
- Watch the alcohol. The holidays are a time for celebration, which most likely means more alcohol. Not only does alcohol add on empty calories, but can also lead you to eating more while drinking. If you are at a gathering, limit yourself to one or two drinks to cut down on the unhealthy cravings you might be feeling afterward.
- Focus on the protein. Protein-packed foods are a great way to fill up without adding a lot of sugar and empty carbohydrates. Pack your plate with low-fat meats like turkey and chicken. If you’re vegetarian, eat more of the tofu than the side dishes that are most likely to be sugar and carbohydrate heavy.
- Fill up on the water. Don’t forget about water! The holidays are an easy time to drink more sugary beverages than normal. Substitute drinks for water, and drink a lot of it. Not only is water essential for your health, but drinking a glass before a meal can fill you up more as well, preventing you from overeating.
- Take your time. Eating too fast is one of the easiest ways to overeat. When you don’t give your body the chance to digest food and feel full before you stop eating, chances are you’re going to end up eating more than you want. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite to give your body a chance to catch up. This way, you’ll end up getting full faster and eat less.
A Little Detox after the Holidays
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine believe in addressing the body as a whole when illness arises or the body is run down. Because of this, acupuncture treatment works by returning the body back to balance and restoring its natural energy. Certain acupuncture points can detoxify important organs like the kidneys, colon, lungs, liver and skin.
The following tips should also help us detox after the holiday season:
- Get rid of leftovers. The holidays bring delicious homemade food, and along with that come the leftovers. Holiday leftovers can be just as good as when you cook the meal the first time and become a tempting go-to snack. Time to let go. Toss the leftovers, they most likely aren’t the healthiest dishes and it’s time to start fresh.
- Stay hydrated. Most of us do not drink enough water, and there is no better time to start than now! Fill up your glass at least 8 times a day. Some find it easier to carry a water bottle throughout the day to remind yourself to keep hydrated. Staying hydrated can flush out toxins and detox your body, as well as keeping you feeling good.
- Hit the gym. Sweating is another great way to flush out toxins. Exercise has many health benefits long term and short term. Find just 30 minutes a day to get some form of exercise, whether it’s going on a run, yoga or simply going for a walk. Getting your body moving is important for your metabolism as well as overall health.
- Ditch the sugar. The holidays are a notorious time that the sugar intake starts ramping up. Now that they are over, it’s time to remove added sugar to your diet. Limit how often you eat dessert and when you do, eat in moderation. Replace sugary foods with natural sweet foods like fruit. Fruit can fix your sweet tooth and also give you a boost of vitamins.
- Drink green tea. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help your body get back on track. It is one of the healthiest beverages you could choose, it can act as a replacement for coffee, lower your risk of cancer and protect your brain as you age.
- Relax. Don’t forget to relax and give yourself some downtime. The holidays are hectic and stressful, which can lead to bad habits and bad eating. Give yourself some time to relax after the holidays have passed. Find activities you enjoy and make sure you make time for them every week. Detoxing is not just for improving your body physically, but mentally as well.
The information provided on this site is for reference only and should not be taken as medical recommendations or professional guidance.Share this Blog