How to Reduce Stress and Overindulgence During the Holidays

reduce holiday stress

The holidays are about getting together with family and friends, cultural traditions, and establishing lasting memories. However, what happens when stress and anxiety get in the way of enjoying the holiday season? From working with your loved ones’ commitments to preparing food, this time can be troublesome.

In the event that you are feeling additional stress, rest assured in knowing you are not alone. A survey executed by the APA (American Psychological Association) indicated that 38% of people have higher stress around the holidays. Here are a few tips from our experienced gastrointestinal (GI) specialists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates on how to ward off stress eating and help you manage the holiday stress that comes along this time of year. Please get in touch with our GI office in New Orleans, LA for more information.

Tip 1: Limit overly processed foods to aid in digestive health

The grumbling in your tummy might not be because of the fact that you went back for seconds. The bacteria in your gut may become altered if you eat processed foods. The consumption of processed foods allows molecules to escape your intestine and enter into your immune-processing pathway. This can increase inflammation in the stomach.

We suggest limiting the intake of processed foods and spending a little bit of time preparing your holiday dishes with healthier items. Prepare your family's green bean casserole with local green beans. Make a dessert with deliciously fresh and local fruit. Replacing canned and processed items for freshness makes a huge difference.

If your digestive health concerns require further assistance, the skilled GI doctors at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA can help you get you back to feeling normal.

Tip 2: Have a snack before you go

Eating too much is very prevalent during the holiday months and may lead to gastrointestinal problems. Between delicious pies, seasonal casseroles, and homemade cookies, avoiding holiday weight gain is tough.

Have carbs with protein to help you remain fulfilled before dinner. This could be as easy as toast with peanut butter. Other yummy carbs and protein snacks are:

  • Hard-boiled eggs and an apple

  • Hummus and vegetables

  • A healthy granola bar

  • Grapes and cheese

Tip 3: Eat smaller portions to avoid overindulgence

There is little doubt that with the extent of the delectable food at your disposal, you will likely have the urge to snatch it up and go. Make sure to pace yourself and put a smaller amount of food on your plate. Choosing smaller amounts of food can allow your body to more readily digest the foods you consume. In addition, you may be less likely to feel bloated and uncomfortable if you choose smaller portion sizes.

Being mindful of your GI tract is smart when attempting to keep yourself from eating too much. If you find yourself sated before finishing your meal, then stop eating. Your stomach is signaling that it has had enough.

Tip 4: Develop a list to feel less stressed

Creating lists can enable you to stay organized and focused during the holidays. A list can help keep shopping trips on task. In addition, it helps organize your family's busy schedules and creates a feeling of satisfaction.

Taking the time to write a list brings organization to disorder. It helps minimize anxiety and relieves the holiday stress you are feeling.

Tip 5: Combat holiday stress with a kind heart

The old adage “Treat others how you wish to be treated” holds true every day of the year. But it is especially true throughout the holidays when stress is higher than normal.

If exploring options to reduce stress, react to every obstacle with a kind approach. Tamping down any frustration and responding with goodwill helps to abate stress and worry. This also makes all individuals feel wanted and secure.

Get set for the holidays without the stress

Whatever your holiday plans entail, our New Orleans, LA practice is excited to provide tips to help you delight in the joys of the season with the ones you love. Being aware you have these suggestions and tips at hand to prevent stress can make this time of year easier. Should you experience digestive health issues or require additional suggestions, get in touch with our experienced digestive health specialists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates today.