Physical Signs Of Stress
And some lifestyle and supplemental strategies to manage them
Q&A with Dr. Ben Schuff, BIÂN Director of Naturopathy & Nutrition
THE HOLIDAYS OFFER MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR SNACKS, FOOD AND DRINK THAT I TYPICALLY DON’T CONSUME. HOW CAN I NAVIGATE THIS?
Food is a centerpiece to our lives as a means to gather. Holidays are part of many of our collective traditions as an opportunity to allow food to bring us together. It’s important to remember that one day of decadent eating doesn’t undo health just as the opposite is true. With all sorts of yummy treats around, explore a different way of approaching it. What you might find when you pay attention to yourself eating delicious treats is that we are usually most looking forward to those first moments with the treat—the initial taste, texture, combination of flavors—those are really what you are yearning for. We get so excited that we eat it quickly or we are onto the next one before we register what’s happening. If you can slow down and really notice with your 5 senses, what exactly you like (or dislike) in that moment, you may find that you’re able to maximize enjoyment and minimize mindless consumption.
HOW CAN I ENJOY THE FLAVORS OF THE SEASON WHILE STAYING ON TRACK WITH MY HEALTH GOALS?
Bring attention to your narrative around the holiday season—are you using the holidays as a justification to eat for several weeks in a way that doesn’t feel good for you? If you find yourself rationalizing choices that make you feel lower and then regretting it later, try to simply allow yourself to enjoy the treats you’re going to have while understanding that by paying attention to the effect it is has on your body and mood can be all the information need to keep it balanced. Feeling like you “overindulged” with symptoms such as bloating and fatigue, is often due to when we are eating mindlessly and not making connections such as, “Yes, this is very delicious in this moment, but I notice ____ when I eat too much or too quickly”
HOW CAN I SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE SOCIAL PRESSURES AT HOLIDAY FUNCTIONS SUCH AS DRINKING ALCOHOL?
When it’s important to us to eat or drink in a certain way that works best for us, social pressure is a great opportunity to step into that and create a healthy firm boundary for ourselves. There is a thin line between “I shouldn’t or should have this” and “I simply don’t want this”. Don’t be afraid to honor yourself in this way because its important. You also never know who else among you is looking for a leader to get that cue from to make the best choice for themselves in a sometimes-uncomfortable scenario. Be the cue.
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