It’s not hard to see why the end of the year holiday season sparks such joy around the world. Although the year is coming to an end, there is so much around us to be thankful for. But with so much of this season focused on giving, it can also feel exhausting, overwhelming, with mounting pressures to pick out the right gifts, see all the sights, and check off your holiday lists.
Therefore, it’s also not hard to see how these seasonal pressures can also put us into a state of unrest and unease. Making sure you meet everyone’s expectations can result in each of us feeling a little burned out, and our self-care slightly in disarray.
Let this be a reminder - a ‘PSA’ - that to care for others: you must first care for yourself.
Starting with You
Our health is one of the greatest compromises we make in modern society. Throughout the year, there are even more reasons to stay distracted, especially during the holidays:
Working around the clock
Caring for your family and loved ones
Staying up to date on social media
Keeping up with your to-do list
Tuning into world events
Tracking down gifts
Preparing for holiday get-togethers
And the countless other, seemingly endless tasks we have to complete each day.
But where on this list is the time you need to care for yourself?
Researchers recently found that 60% of Americans want to feel healthier and more than 50% want to lose weight - yet only 6.6% actively participate in health-related self-care each day.
That means over 90% of Americans aren’t meeting their own personal mental, physical, or emotional health needs.
This can manifest as irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and many other symptoms. Moreso, we often fail to take the steps we need to take care of ourselves until something snaps - whether that be our health which suddenly falters, or relationships which become strained by the mounting pressures.
During the pandemic, we have realized more than ever how important it is to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. You cannot give what you do not have yourself.
Building Yourself Up
The stress of everyday life can easily penetrate almost every part of our being, and everything is connected.
Scientists have shown that our ability to manage or overcome daily stress (and cope in healthy ways) relies more heavily on our health than previously thought. Research on the gut microbiome has deciphered many of these interactions, finding that how we eat and the healthy habits we have can directly impact our gut flora and our immune system.
When your biology is off, little signs and symptoms can be your body’s attempt at telling you something is wrong, or you need a little ‘Rest and Relaxation’. It can also be a sign your body isn’t equipped with the right nutrients it needs to function properly.
But if we take the time to promote balance in our gut and in our body, provide the right fuel for our cells to manage stress, and support our immune system, we can actually improve how we handle stress on a daily basis.
Turns out, the best way to deal with stress can be found right within you and your own personal health journey.
This season, take some time to sit back and check in with your needs
Some of us are great at identifying exactly what we need to feel ‘good’ but many others struggle. If you’re one of the many people who feels off, stressed out, or unwell and don’t know where to start - here are a few steps you can take to check in with your health before you check out from stress.
1. Grab a pen and write down exactly how you feel.
Yep, that’s step one. So many of us struggle to ‘name’ our feelings. Take a moment to evaluate how you feel and determine your baseline. As you take time for personal self-care, you can look back and reflect on whether what you’re doing is helping (making you feel better) or hurting (making you feel worse).
2. Schedule that ‘ME’ time
Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a 10 minute coffee break just for you, writing your thoughts down in a journal, or simply shutting your eyes and focusing on your breathing. Finding ways to calm yourself down from outside influences can do wonders for stress and help you regroup for the day.
3. Get active and get some fresh air
There is a reason why more and more people are googling terms like ‘what is grounding’ and ‘friluftsliv (a Nordic term for going outside and taking a moment to appreciate the outdoors)’. Reconnecting with nature has been shown to help our bodies rebalance their natural circadian rhythm and even promote a healthier immune response.
4. Focus on the ‘Superfoods’ right for you
Check in with your Viome results. Are you keeping up with your Superfood list and actively staying away from your Avoid list? Even occasional contact with the foods that harm your gut the most can interfere with how you feel and perform each day. Make sure you’re staying clear of the foods that do more harm than good.
5. Keep up with your supplement routine
Whether you’re a proud member of our precision supplement family or choose to purchase them at your favorite vitamin shop, it can be hard to fill all the tiny gaps in our diet with the nutrients we’re lacking. Sticking to a supplement routine can better support your body’s natural balance and that gut-brain connection to help you navigate stress better.
It’s important to take the time to check in with you - and make sure you’re meeting all your needs before you help others. This holiday season, we wish each and every one of you the happiest of seasons. Know we’re here for you and your health journey, and if you need us - we promise to answer the call. Viome was created to help each individual find the answers to health hidden in their biology and to appreciate and respect the differences each one of us have.
We all may be unique but we all deserve the same: happiness, love, and good health.
The information on the Viome website is provided for informational purposes only and with the understanding that Viome is not engaged in rendering medical advice or recommendations. Viome provides this educational information to share the exciting developments being reported in the scientific literature about the human microbiome and your health. Viome products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.