Holiday Stress and How To Deal

Tucson Nutrition Coaching

Holidays are such a joyful time, but they can also be a bit stressful. Family, last minute shopping, choosing healthy food when you’re surrounded by sugar, and managing to get a workout in can be a lot to handle.

Did you know that stress can affect your digestion?! Yes, again with the gut health…it’s just really important!

Your gut directly communicates with your brain by sending it signals about your physiological and *emotional* states. 

Fun fact: your gut has it’s own nervous system called the enteric nervous system. That’s why the gut is often referred to as your second brain.

Stress can cause our gut to shut down because we are in “fight or fight” mode. If you read last week’s Food for Thought Friday you know that in order to digest our food properly we need to be in a parasympathetic “rest and digest” state.

Ever been so anxious that you find yourself rushing to the bathroom or not being able to use the bathroom at all!? Your incredibly adaptable body slows your GI system by decreasing blood flow and enzyme production so it can focus on handling your increased stress. This can lead to indigestion, diarrhea, and/or constipation.

It also doesn’t help that when we’re stressed we typically reach for not so nourishing comfort foods and eat super fast. 

So if you’re experiencing bowel discomfort take a look at how you’re managing your stress. You might also want to consider how much sugar you’re consuming but we can save that for another post.

How can we deal with stress so that our gut can have a healthy, merry, and bright holiday?

  • Eat your veggies! Hello fiber, water, and nutrients #alltheveggies

  • Hydrate! Have a glass of of water in between those glasses of wine!

  • Carve out some me time- write in a journal, take a walk, meditate, rest and digest!

  • Get in some movement! Hello endorphins.

  • Start your day off with a solid breakfast full of protein, fiber, and fat! 

  • Drink some herbal tea- like dandelion root or peppermint tea.

  • Enjoy your holidays, your family, your friends, and the occasional holiday treat.

  • Take a few deep breaths and remember gut health (or Christmas) isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind. (Inspired by Miracle of 34th Street)

Kelly Phu is our resident nutrition pro, and she can help you take control of your diet in a way that is sustainable. Click below for your FREE no-snack intro and let Kelly show you how she can help you feel good about food.