Surviving Santa Stress

December is here and already I can sense the stress in patients and friends for the upcoming holiday season.  How can you get through?

1. Learn to say no

If planning the parties, buying gifts, or dreaming up great outfits gives you stress, figure out ways to get around it.  Go to less parties, tell your friends of your budget needs, or ask for help.

2. Learn to eat best

Personally, I eat well at home so that can indulge when out.  I will be the first in line for Nanaimo bars and I love trying all the new or favourite holiday foods at potlucks.  This becomes an exercise in management.  Try a few bites, instead of the whole portion.  Skip the empty carbs, especially those you are apt to eat more regularly, like rice and potatoes.   These aren't novel so save space for the fun new things.  Snack before you go to a party if you need.  Pair the sweets with a protein source to curb the effect on your blood sugar.

3. Learn which foods magnify stress

Did you know that sugar, caffeine, and processed foods can actually make you more sensitive to stress?  That feeling that stress used to be something that you could rebound easily from, but now every little thing sets you off - that may be coming from food.

4. Learn how to sleep better

If sleep is anything less than amazing, look into why and how to change it.  Some suffer from sleep-onset insomnia, or trouble falling asleep, while others have issues staying asleep, or sleep-maintenance insomnia.  A naturopathic doctor can prescribe specific treatments for either.  With better sleep, stress is always less impactful and our bodies can cope better with the demands.

5. Learn when to get help

When stress causes sleep disturbances, anxiety or depression, problems in a relationship, or issues with hormones or thyroid health, it's time to call Dr. Gayle!  There are wonderful nutrients and herbs to help your body become more resilient and less affected by stress.