Happy holidays my MOJO-ers. Do the holidays ever get you down? Though many approach the holidays with glee, some also approach it with dread.
Even those surrounded by lots of people and perceived to have everything can struggle with stress and sadness during the holidays. The underlying physical, emotional, time and financial demands they present can crush anyone’s spirit.
You are expected to be happy and joyful and giving, but maybe all you want to do is crawl into bed?
I googled “stress and sadness during the holidays” and 285 MILLION articles came up.
What you eat can make all the difference.
What you eat is used as fuel for your body, and your brain.
Your brain is where the happy hormones are.
If what you eat doesn’t stimulate them (or make them happy), how can you be?
OK, that’s a simplification, but what you eat literally impacts your mood, and potentially whether you feel sad or content.
And this doesn’t just happen around the holidays. “Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have some type of mental illness each year. The CDC says that by 2020, depression will rank as the second leading cause of disability, after heart disease.
It's not just a problem for adults. Half of all long-term mental disorders start by age 14. Today, childhood mental illness affects more than 17 million kids in the U.S.”
It’s time to look at what we are eating (as well as the toxins we are exposed to daily).
WHAT YOU EAT IMPACTS YOUR MOOD.
Roxanne Sukol, MD, preventive medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute. "When we eat real food that nourishes us, it becomes the protein-building blocks, enzymes, brain tissue, and neurotransmitters that transfer information and signals between various parts of the brain and body."
Besides scientific proof, it just makes sense:
Observe how you feel after you ingest sugary drinks like soda, juices, sports drinks and alcohol, processed foods or heavy simple carbs.
If you get a headache, breakout, feel congested, bloated, sleepy or achy, it’s likely not agreeing with you. Period. And it’s only a matter of time before it manifests itself in disease.
If you have stents in your heart, consistently get kidney or gall stones, have chronic acid reflux and/or feel breathless, you must make changes to your diet Period. Your body is begging you to.
Now observe how you feel when you eat whole fruits, vegetables, grains and good fats. Yes, you may get gassy if you switch to a high fiber diet after years of very little. Ease into it. Small changes, right?
So, if the holidays are already tough for you, strongly consider whether to down that eggnog or fruit cake, and how it may impact your mood. Grab a water, move, eat something healthful and pat yourself on the back for exhibiting self-compassion. Compassion – the definition of what the holidays are all about.
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthful holiday season. The next two Tuesdays I will be on hiatus for the holidays but email me if you need help with your 2019 commitments.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™
P.S. Give yourself the gift of self-compassion. Join us for our next Montauk Retreat, May 31-June 2.