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The holidays are a time of excitement filled with family, friends, food and good cheer. But, for many, it can be a time of stress. Unfortunately, stretching ourselves too thin and overcommitting to events can lead to overeating, interrupted sleep patterns, and overall feelings of sluggishness and fatigue.
The good news is there are natural ways to manage holiday fatigue that will allow you to head into the holidays with confidence.
Keep It Moving
Elle Woods said it best: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Exercise encourages the brain to release “feel good” hormones such as serotonin, which can help fight off feelings of stress and low energy. This, in turn, can help fight against the urge to overeat. Even just 20 minutes of movement a day can have a positive impact on your emotions. And you don’t have to hit the gym to reap the benefits. The key is to do something you enjoy! Dancing, biking, jumping rope, online at-home workouts and power walking are great ways to get moving this holiday season.
Here’s an 18-minute at-home workout you can try.
Support Your NAD+
Stress on the body comes in many forms and doesn’t just pop up during the holidays. As we age, a vital naturally occurring coenzyme NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) — which is essential for cellular defense, resilience and repair — declines. Everyday stressors from sleep disturbance to alcohol consumption and overeating add to the decline, leaving our cells to fight for a dwindling supply of this vital resource.
Thankfully, you can help the body naturally support the production of NAD+ by introducing nicotinamide riboside (NR) into the body with a supplement like Tru Niagen. Commercially known as Niagen, NR is a novel form of vitamin B3 that converts to NAD+ when ingested and goes to work improving cellular function and increasing energy production at the cellular level. This can have a positive impact on how the body handles metabolic stressors that often take place during the holiday season like increased alcohol and food consumption as well as sluggishness.
Less sleep during times of stress can contribute to the desire to overeat. According to a 2013 study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, lack of sleep can make it difficult for your body to regulate essential functions like appetite control and can cause a cycle of stress eating, especially during the holidays. So how much sleep do you need? According to WebMD, most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
If counting sheep hasn’t helped, these strategies might:
- Wake up at the same time every morning, and go to sleep at the same time every night.
- Don’t consume caffeine after noon.
- Shut off your electronic devices one hour before bed.
- Take a warm bath.
The regulation, rejuvenation and health sleep brings to your body helps you to be better equipped to handle the effects of holiday stress.
Keep Your Water Bottle Close
Tracking your water intake can make a big difference in how you feel. According to Medical News Today, water flushes out toxins, aids in weight loss and delivers oxygen to the rest of the body. Water helps to curb fake hunger pains, which can lead to overindulgence. The Mayo Clinic recommends 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. Replacing sweet drinks with water also can help in the fight against overeating and added stress. A review of 17 studies found that adults who drank sugar-sweetened beverages with meals consumed 7.8 percent more food than adults who consumed water with meals. Drinking out of a water bottle every day can help you gauge how much water you’re taking in and help keep you on track.
Give Your Immune System a Boost
Eating a variety of colored vegetables and fruits is a great way to boost your immune system — and it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday cookies. A strong immune system is much more equipped to handle stress. So when you plate up, choose foods that will support your immunity first and then move onto the pie.
In combination with healthy foods, supplementing your body’s NAD+ levels is ideal for optimal cellular function. When you’re under stress, your cells focus their energy on combating the physical stressor, which reduces your available supply of NAD+ and impacts overall health and your cells’ ability to thrive in daily life.
Find ways that work for you to support your body and cells and keep stress at bay not only during the holidays but also all year-round.