We are excited to have Tansy Briggs, DOM, L.OM, an Integrative Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practitioner from our Bryn Mawr office, guest blog for us! We love her tips on how to stay sane and healthy this holiday season. Thanks Tansy! Be sure to check out her website.
Holiday parties? Office parties? Family get-togethers? Lots of extra sugar and rich foods? Overwhelmed? Lonely? Depressed? Traveling?
It’s that time of year…amongst the positives can also be some negatives. The likeliness of getting colds and flus, going off your regular diet, stress, busy days and an overabundance of good cheer or the opposite – isolation or loneliness over the holidays – can wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing. Here are a few strategies to get the most enjoyment out of the holidays without paying a high price in health, energy and emotions!
Strategy #1- Minimizing the Effects of Rich Food and Drink
- Eat protein and fat before going out to a cocktail or holiday party with lots of different types of random appetizers, sweets, and alcohol. You can easily make sure you have a protein bar handy in your bag whenever you might need it. Protein and fats will also help regulate your blood sugar with overly sugary foods and drinks. Eating before going out may also reduce the probability of over indulging in all the rich foods and sweets as well.
- Hydrate with water or electrolyte drinks before, during and after drinking alcohol or eating rich foods. This will also help cool down the liver that will be working overtime to process everything. Boost electrolytes by drinking 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 1/2 teaspoon of a sweetener (like honey or real raw sugar) and a generous pinch of sea salt dissolved in 8 ounces of water.
- Kitchen Remedy: If too much rich food leaves you feeling fullness below the sternum, reflux, slow digestion, and/or constipated, mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with a bit of warm water. Take this first thing in morning, before food.
Strategy #2 – Prevent Colds and Flus
- Time and again, one of the best ways to prevent colds and flus is to wash your hands! Remember this one thing – never touch your face or food going into your mouth before washing your hands.
- I use my tried and true trio to prevent colds and flus when I am regularly exposed to people who are ill in my practice. I truly do not leave home without it! For prevention of colds and flus: 3 tabs per day Gan Mao Ling (Chinese herb formula for colds), 1 tab per day ADP (time released oregano), 1 tab per day ADB5 (support for adrenals during times of stress and exhaustion) take ADB5 only in the morning and with food.
- Kitchen Remedy: If you begin to feel sick – drink ginger tea. Put 4-5 slices of ginger in boiling water, then simmer for 20 minutes, then add lemon juice and honey to taste.
Strategy #3 – Overwhelmed? Stressed? Too much to do? Lonely? Depressed? Traveling? Exhausted?
- Self- Care: incorporate some self-care into your day. Treat yourself kindly.
- Breathe: even if it is only 5 minutes to sit and breathe and stare out a window. Exaggerate your breathing – slowly breathe deep into your lungs and slowly exhale.
- Sleep: try to keep regular sleep if possible. Having sleep reset strategies are useful if you have jet lag, have trouble sleeping due to being overtired, irregular sleep or from general stress. Take an electronic vacation at least an hour before you want to sleep.
- Exercise: even just 10 minutes of walking, stretching, dancing and moving will make a big difference. Get your circulation going!
- Connect and laugh: if you are around people a lot – make sure you have some alone time. If you are lonely, make sure to reach out and connect with someone. “Laughter is an instant vacation.” - Milton Berle
- Gratitude: with everything going on in the world find gratitude for the things you have. “Replace fear with gratitude, and the whole world changes.” - Terri Guillemets
Strategy #4 – Make a Plan for Rejuvenation After the Holidays.
Here are some suggestions for a post-holiday health plan:
- Simplify your diet and follow the Warm Digestion principles in this ebook.
- Biodetoxification Reset Program – This is a fabulous way to revitalize, reset your metabolism, support your organs and elimination systems and get back to health in 10 days. Sign up for my newsletter for more information coming in January!
- Get Acupuncture (of course!). Rejuvenate and improve your health and wellbeing.
- Plan something fun but restful to avoid post-holiday let down. Making a rejuvenation plan is a great place to start.
- Allowing yourself to enjoy your moments during the holidays without guilt of what you should or should not be eating, drinking, exercising, etc. can be very healthful for the mind.
The views and nutritional/herbal advice expressed by Tansy Briggs, DOM, L.OM is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. No information offered here should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. Information and statements regarding products and/or services made available by Tansy Briggs, DOM, L.OM, Philadelphia Acupuncture, LLC and the Healing Arts Center have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.