This is one of the most challenging times of year to stay healthy and there are several reasons for this. It is not a coincidence that the flu season is typically kicked off after we (and our kids) bombard our bodies with immune system weakening Halloween candy, combined with getting less sunshine as the seasons change. Added to this is the start of the holiday season with the parties, sweets, drinks and….STRESS.
The good news is that there are a few simple steps we can take to ensure that we are able to make the most of our holidays and don’t wind up on our backs in bed.
The first step to staying healthy is to minimize sugar and grain intake. Sugar and grains decrease immune system function, makes you tired and leave you susceptible to getting sick and fat. Is it ok to have some treats? Yes! I recommend making sure that your regular meals are as healthy as possible so that indulging in one of grandma’s famous Christmas cookies won’t do any harm.
The next step is to optimize your vitamin D levels. Most people in this Northern climate become vitamin D deficient in the fall and winter as the sun is not as strong and we spend more time indoors. I personally take up to 6000 units of vitamin D a day in the winter. If you are concerned about your levels, ask your M.D. or Naturopath to have them checked and supplement accordingly.
Another step I highly encourage for everyone is to get adequate Omega-3 intake using a high quality fish-oil supplement. Most people are low in Omega-3 which has a detrimental effect on the nervous system which obviously can create many secondary conditions. Fish oil is also great to reduce systemic inflammation and is great for the skin – especially in the cold months.
A word of caution regarding fish-oil. Make sure it is from a trusted source as it can be contaminated with heavy metals which makes it harmful. Typically, you get what you pay for. Our office sells Innate Choice, which is what my family and I use. There are other high quality brands available locally.
The fourth step to staying healthy this holiday is to get high quality sleep. Again, there will likely be nights when this is not possible, so do your best to make the most out of your ‘regular’ nights. Some tips to help with sleep quality are to take a bath before bed, no TV right before sleep, take a magnesium supplement 30 minutes before retiring and avoid eating at least a couple of hours before bedtime.
The final step to a vital holiday is to minimize the effects of stress. This time of the year can be stressful to many folks and trying to fight that can be overwhelming. Accept that there will be some stress and take steps to reduce the harm it will cause. Be sure to take some time to look after yourself. Exercise regularly, take a walk, meditate for 10-20 minutes a day. When we look after ourselves, our capacity to handle stress is enhanced greatly.
The Neurospinal Optimization care we provide is a powerful tool for staying healthy, regardless of what symptoms or secondary conditions are present. In addition to normalizing the nervous system it ensures that are adaptable to traumas and stresses all year round.
The holidays are meant to be fun, don’t let your health get in the way. Take the simple steps necessary to give yourself the gift of a healthy holiday.