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There’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect holiday. Songs, films, and advertisements start setting expectations in October, and now with social media, you see the best of all your friends’ efforts, too. But perfection is a lot of planning and effort, and at a time of year where seasonally, we’re all more prone to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Don’t let it keep building up, make a few simple changes and let some of the steam help.

Start with some sunlight. We’ve turned the corner on daylight—the solstice was last week and days are starting to get longer—but it’s important to stand out in the sun for a bit each day. It helps the body build Vitamin D, boosting immune system, mood, and more, and it helps the brain to correctly regulate the circadian rhythm. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D, even during these still short days, with a good daily multivitamin like Vita One.

Then tackle some of the holiday triggers. Take a break from Christmas music. The repetition can go from comforting to irritating for some people. If you want to stay festive, try some albums that are non-traditional, like Enya or Sting (and they’re mellow, too, if you’re feeling high-strung).

Try and avoid driving at night. The inconsistent artificial light made brighter by decorations can push your brain over the edge if you’re already feeling out of sorts.

Choose healthy support, like good nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mental health breaks. While this festive time of year leaves sweets and alcohol more available (and generally jovially consumed), if you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or flat out depressed, then it can quickly backfire on you. Your body doesn’t handle sweets well when you experience negative emotions. In fact, physical changes take place that can cause you to absorb more calories than a healthy person, and to store more of them as fat. Holiday weight can become just another source of anxiety, feeding the cycle. (And alcohol should be a mostly self-explanatory warning, it’s feel good effects are short lived, especially if you’re depressed).

If you need more help and a kick-start into making good choices, try a little colloidal gold (especially if you already have it on hand) or support from D.S.A. MGRx. Easy to self-regulate, D.S.A. MGRx is made of herbs known for supporting mood.

Have a merry holiday, and let us know in the comments if we missed any holiday stressors:

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