Some of us look forward to the holiday season with joy, and some of us think about the holidays and immediately want to take a nap. That’s because, no matter how joyous our celebrations are, they can cause fatigue when added to the responsibilities of our daily lives. Prioritizing your energy during the holidays can help you enjoy them a lot more. Here are 7 energy zappers and boosters for this holiday season.
When we are tired, the first place we need to make changes is in our sleep. Everyone knows they should sleep 7-8 hours per night, but that can be hard to manage, especially during the busy holiday season. Setting a sleep schedule and trying to adhere to it most nights of the week will help. Also important is your quality of sleep. Make sure you are creating a comfortable sleep environment and limiting distractions.
Most of us do not drink enough water throughout the day, yet proper hydration is essential to the functioning of our organs. When we are even mildly dehydrated, our blood pressure drops and our blood cannot deliver proper nutrients and oxygen to our muscles and organs efficiently. One of the first easily overlooked signs of dehydration is fatigue. Experts say we should be consuming between ¾ of a gallon (women) to 1 gallon (men) of water per day. That can be in the form of water, fruit juices, herbal teas, or other beverages.
Sometimes it feels like the demands on our time are endless, but in the holiday season, those demands multiply. It is ok to say no to other people’s requests of you, especially if they require a lot of your time. Finding ways to save time in your holiday preparations is also essential. Bringing a store-bought cake or pie is not a negative reflection on your character; you are bringing something delicious, and it will probably cost only slightly more than the ingredients needed to make it. Plus, you can feel good knowing you are supporting your local economy while putting your feet up and practicing some self-care.
Tasty, sweet treats are everywhere during the holidays, but they are, unfortunately, also a source of our fatigue. They give us a burst of energy, and once we burn through those simple sugars, they can leave us hungry, irritable, and anxious. One way to avoid sugar crashes is to avoid sugar, but are we really going to do that during the holidays? Honestly? Another way to help mitigate their effects is to eat our treats after we have eaten other nutritious foods such as those high in protein and fiber. Everything will be digested together, and the protein and fiber promote more stable blood sugar.
5. Caffeine and alcohol
If you, like many, are in a cycle of having a glass or two of alcohol at an evening holiday party or dinner and then trying to wake yourself up with caffeine during the day, you could be worsening your fatigue without even realizing it. The after-effects of alcohol consumption can leave us feeling lethargic and dehydrated, and caffeine can interrupt our sleep cycles and leave us feeling wired but still tired. If you’re feeling tired, but you think you’re sleeping enough, try limiting alcohol and caffeine. There are many delicious mocktail recipes available so you can still serve guests non-alcoholic options (or bring your own mocktails to share) and decaffeinated coffee will let you have your coffee fix while prioritizing your sleep.
It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you are tired, but exercise will give you energy. Not only does it increase oxygenation to your organs, but it also oxygenates your cells causing them to increase production of mitochondria, which we all learned in school is the powerhouse of the cell. More mitochondria mean more energy for your body on a cellular level. Exercising consistently, even when you’re tired, will have immediate and long-range benefits on your energy level.
It feels like the holidays force us to overindulge, but we have some choices in how we handle that. Planning your meals ahead of time helps. If you know you’re likely to indulge later in the day, having a light, nutritious breakfast and lunch, can mitigate those effects. Nutrition, though, isn’t only about calories. Making sure we are providing our bodies with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we need will help improve our energy levels. Superberries Aronia berry products can help you boost the nutritional value of almost every dish from mocktails to main dishes to desserts. They include high levels of antioxidants which can help reduce fatigue and oxidative stress on the body.
Holiday gatherings shouldn’t leave us exhausted and feeling guilty about the choices we make. Prioritizing your energizing habits will make you and everyone around you enjoy the holidays more. Choosing to include Superberries Aronia berry products in your daily meals is one great first step to taking care of you.