Sail Through the Holidays: 6 Simple Supplements to Keep You Jolly and Healthy!

The holiday season can be an incredibly stressful time for adults, making it difficult to fully appreciate and enjoy this special time of year. With the overload of additional planning, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and numerous social engagements, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed is rather common. However, you can still recapture some of that holiday joy by implementing nourishing stress-relief practices to help reduce anxiety, boost your mood, and strengthen your immunity against seasonal illnesses.

Building a strong foundation for the holiday season

We are often led astray during the holiday season – indulging in sugary treats, drinking too much alcohol (and not enough water), relying on caffeine, and losing valuable sleep. It’s essential to invest in good habits to keep yourself healthy and cope with the inevitable added stress.

Make sure to prioritize sleep, aiming for 7-9 hours per night, as it is crucial for maintaining both mental and physical health. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, as it not only helps combat the calories we consume during the festivities but also reduces stress. If cold weather prevents outdoor activities, try indoor exercises such as yoga or Tai Chi, which are proven to reduce stress, boost immunity, and provide several other beneficial effects.

Plan nutrient-dense meals to keep you full and strengthen your willpower against indulging too much into unhealthy treats. Focus on consuming fruits and vegetables, particularly brightly colored ones, as they are packed with vital nutrients and antioxidants. Consuming fruits and vegetables daily has been shown to significantly improve mood.

The power of mind and body

Anxiety and stress might feel like inseparable parts of our fast-paced, modern lives, but by taking responsibility for our mental well-being, we can make changes to tackle these issues.

Research has shown that meditation can benefit your mood and help prevent negative thought cycles. Incorporating just 10 to 20 minutes of daily meditation, focusing your attention on slow, deep breaths, can significantly reduce stress and enhance cognition. Alternatively, consider moving meditations, such as yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong, which provide the same benefits while also improving physical function.

Calming supplements to consider

In addition to nutrient-dense foods, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and daily meditation, certain herbs and nutrients can provide extra support to help control stress and anxiety during the holiday season.

  1. Vitamin D3: Supplement with vitamin D3, as sunlight can be limited during the winter months, causing a depletion in vitamin D reserves. Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency contributes to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the wintertime blues.

  2. B Vitamins: B vitamins can help with stress and depression. One study discovered that supplementing with B complex for three months helped participants improve their moods and reduce stress.

  3. Ashwagandha: This Ayurvedic herb, also known as Indian ginseng, has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in those with chronic anxiety. It also helps manage stress, balance hormones, and enhance cognition.

  4. Passionflower: This calming herb influences GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation.

  5. Lavender: Besides being an anxiety-reliever, lavender also aids sleep. Lavender flowers can be used in tea, while lavender essential oil can be used externally on the skin (diluted with a base oil), added to a bath, or diffused in an aromatherapy vaporizer.

  6. Honokiol: Extracted from Magnolia bark, honokiol works on GABA receptors and provides calming mood support. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and actively promotes cellular health in various areas, including the breasts, prostate, and lungs.

By implementing these practices before the holiday chaos hits, you’ll be better prepared to face the challenges and enjoy the season. Furthermore, these healthy habits will help you enter the new year with a stronger foundation for overall wellness and vitality.