‘Tis the season for fun and festivities, but mostly it’s the season for coping with holiday stress. From planning Thanksgiving menus to expensive and busy holiday travel plans, tasks related to the holiday season are packed with stress, anxiety, and lots of sugary food.
The best way to beat (or better yet, prevent) holiday stress is to maintain your health. There’s nothing worse than battling a cold while trying to keep up with a schedule packed with work deadlines and holiday parties.
Keep up with your normal health routine. Going to the gym and working out will definitely keep your stress levels down. If you don’t have time for a workout, take a few walks throughout the day to calm down.[slideshow:
Take your vitamins. No matter how hard you try to manage your diet, you probably have a few vitamin deficiencies, which can actually create more stress for you. Not enough iron? You’ll become irritable and tired; eat iron-rich food like red meat and spinach. Not enough magnesium? You’ll become more sensitive to noise (something you’ll find plenty of while shopping for holiday presents); snack on some nutrient-rich vegetables like kale or avocados.
Allow yourself to indulge at parties without stressing over the fact that you’re eating something unhealthy. There are several things that are awful about not letting yourself eat a favorite type of cookie when you’re out, and one of them is that it can lead to unhealthy binge-eating. Take a small portion and enjoy it; you'll feel happy in the moment and less guilty later since you are less likely to end up binging. On that same note, savor the indulgences. Eating slowly helps you enjoy what you're eating so, again, you end up eating less.
Watch the coffee and alcohol intake; both will mess with your sleep cycle and make you more irritable at work and play. Incorporate calming herbs and roots like ginseng and chamomile to your diet so you can sleep easy.
A few simple additions to your diet will help make this holiday season stress-free, allowing you to enjoy the time with your friends and family.
Story originally published on November 13, 2014
Additional reporting done by Recipe Editor Milagros Cruz
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.