Managing Stress and Overindulgence During the Holiday Season

The holiday season often brings with it unwelcome guests — stress and the effects of overindulgence. And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — shopping, baking, cleaning, parties and entertaining, to name just a few. To prevent the feelings of overindulgence and stress this holiday season, here are a few tips to integrate into your daily routine that will help keep the joy alive this winter.

  1. Cherish Your Liver
    The liver is an essential organ because it’s the main organ that detoxifies the whole body. To protect the liver, the first rule is to limit the amount of toxins we are ingesting. This includes alcohol as well as sugar-containing foods. Prevent dehydration by drinking at least 2 liters of water per day, get enough sleep, and continue regular exercise even if it means getting up in the dark and forcing yourself out into the colder weather. Herbal support for the liver can also be important. The most commonly suggested herb for liver health is milk thistle- Silybum marianum. Several scientific studies suggest that substances in milk thistle protect the liver from toxins. Choose a good quality supplement containing silybin, the major active constituent of milk thistle.
  2. Keep a Happy Colon
    With the rounds of festive parties, dinners, and leftovers, we can enter January feeling bloated, tired, and a little down. Products to heal and rejuvenate your gut include L-glutamine, probiotics, and ample fibre. It is recommended to consumer between 21-45 grams of fibre per day. Consuming 6-10 serving of fruits and vegetables, or topping up with a fibre supplement can get you to this level.
  3. Prevent Holiday Stress
    With overindulgence often comes an increase in stress. And with the added pressures of juggling our social events or worrying about the extra costs of the holidays, our cortisol levels can surge. Safe natural health care products for combating stress include an amino acid derived from green tea called L-theanine. Rather than causing a sedating effect, L-theanine calms the mind by supporting alpha brain wave activity. It can create feelings of clarity, calmness, and a sense of being more grounded. Adaptogens are natural metabolic regulators that help stabilize our physiology by promoting homeostasis in the body. Rhodiola is a herb that not only supports the stress response in the body, but also lifts mood. Ashwagandha is one of the most studied adaptogenic herbs, which lowers cortisol- the stress hormone- and restores the function of the adrenal gland, preventing burnout. Remember to take time for yourself, don’t over stack your plate, and give your body the foundation to keep this a joyous time of year!

The information in this article is not a substitute for medical advice. Please seek the care of your health care practitioner when starting a supplement regimen. Dr. Jennifer Brix, ND has a special interest in digestive health, hormone balancing, brain support, and natural pain relief. More information about Dr. Jen can be found at

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