New Holiday Traditions
This year will definitely be one for the books! It has changed how we do and plan everything. Including the holiday season. Families are spending the holiday differently to maintain the safety of one another during this COVID-19 pandemic. Some are incorporating zoom calls while others are limiting it to just their immediate family. Other families are getting rapid tests prior to travel and keeping thermometers and masks on standby. All of these changes can bring stress if we allow them. The Holiday season without COVID-19 was already a stressful one. It is has been studied that most depression and suicide ideation increase during this time of year. We are here to provide you some tips on managing a stress free holiday season for 2020.
How stress affects nutrition
Stress has the ability to release certain hormones in our bodies. These hormones are cortisol and epinephrine. Both affect how we nourish our bodies. When the hormone cortisol releases, it can enhance our cravings for salty, sugary, and high fat food options. Long-term excessive intake of these food items can lead to chronic diseases. When the hormone epinephrine releases, it can curb your appetite and result in you going the entire day without eating. Managing our stress with healthy coping skills can help prevent the release of these hormones.
3 Tips to navigate this Holiday Season
1) Utilize healthy coping skills. Whether your stress reliever is exercise, listening to
music, watching movies, or finding nostalgia in your favorite Netflix show… be sure to create a list of healthy coping skills to access over this holiday season.
2) Reach out to friends and family by phone, zoom, or FaceTime. You will feel good for doing it and friends and family will feel good knowing someone is thinking about them. These feelings enhance the release of our "feel good" hormones also known as endorphins.
3) Enjoy your favorite dishes in moderation and listen to your hunger cues. No need to fit all your favorites in one meal. Spread out your meals in small portion sizes. Listen to your body to know when you are satisfied and stop at that moment. Be mindful and wait 30 minutes before going back for seconds.
Wilkins and Westbrooks are huge advocates of total wellness. Nutrition influences a large part of your health but mental health and routine physical activity do too. Be sure to preserve the condition of all 3 this holiday season!
Whitney and Jasmine