Just what is a holiday health hangover? The holidays are full of big meals, late-night drinks with family, gift-giving, watching seasonal films, and sleeping in. When it comes time to return to our nine-to-fives and resume our routines, complete with meetings, deadlines, school pick-ups, and so on, you may feel overwhelmed and fatigued. That’s what we mean when we say holiday health hangover! It’s also sometimes referred to as post-vacation depression.
Many things can leave you feeling this holiday hangover after a busy season. Your schedule, the people you’re with, the food and beverages you consume, jet lag from travel... Instead of trying to just ‘carry on,’ regardless of how you feel, it’s crucial to recognize and identify the feeling, so you don’t end up burnt out before the year even begins.
Here are some things to consider that may cause you to feel a holiday hangover. And read on for handy hints to help you get back to your most productive, happy, and healthy self without a hitch.
Holiday food hangovers are very real. The holidays are filled with sweet and savory foods that are usually richer than your daily meals. This may affect your blood sugar levels and upset your body’s balance, resulting in mood changes, fatigue, and digestive issues. Here are some common food issues that may be the culprit of your health hangover:
When the holidays arrive, so do all of our favorite sweets. Just the smell of seasonal baking can encourage a host of sugar cravings. It can be easy to get carried away by the indulgent holiday spirit and all of the tasty goodies constantly available. After the holidays, it can be challenging to cut down on all the allowances you made for yourself during the season.
Did you overeat sodium-rich foods during the holidays? That’s not entirely surprising! Much like sugar, it can be challenging to keep yourself from salty foods even after the holidays. Overconsuming them after the holidays just prolongs your health hangover.
Vacations, holiday parties, late-night celebrations—the holidays can really mess with your schedule. From unfamiliar beds and overcrowded homes to shifts in your schedule, it can mess with your health. Think of it like shift work. Just like excessive, odd hours when you’re working can wreak havoc on your system, sudden changes to your schedule during the holidays can affect it too. You can feel fatigued, low-energy, and unable to focus when you try to jump right back into your regular schedule.
Yes, this is a real thing! After the holidays, you may return home feeling more exhausted than when you left for your vacation. While visiting family is fulfilling, an overload can leave some people feeling emotionally drained. This is especially true if you’re someone who feels compelled to pack in every minute of the holidays with social interactions because you don’t want to waste a single moment.
Whether you’re fatigued from mealtime debates with family members you don’t see eye-to-eye with, overwhelmed from all the interactions, or a little blue that you’ll have to wait another year to see certain family members again, it can all lead to a health hangover.
Need a little help with your holiday health hangover? Signing up for one of the programs from NutriSense can help you understand more about how your body is responding to your post-holiday lifestyle.
Using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is an excellent way to track and monitor how your body responds to lifestyle and diet factors. With the CGM Program, you can experiment with the help of a CGM sensor and advice from a registered dietitian. Using the data from the CGM, your dietitian can help you gain a better understanding of how to optimize your health to suit your individual needs.
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