By Holly Lucille, ND, RN

Since the early 1930’s, the day after Thanksgiving (fondly known as Black Friday) has been regarded as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Most major retailers open very early or stay open overnight to offer promotional sales and rack up hefty deposits to put their accounting in the “black,” which means they are making money, instead of being in the “red,” which would denote debt.

When it comes to your body, have you ever asked yourself if you are in the black or the red in regards to your health?  Do you have a hefty health “savings account,” or are you in debt? If your health bank account is showing up red, what can you do about it?  Well, I have come up with an “accounting” system to help.

In my clinical practice, I started to realize that most people who visited my clinic were indeed “in debt” with their health.  They either have a myriad of symptoms like fatigue, stubborn weight gain, digestive issues, headaches and hormonal issues, or they received disturbing lab results that point to a disease process happening in their body. Sometimes they had a combination of both.  While getting to know more about my patients through the intake process, I started to note the many pieces and parts of their lives that may have contributed to this “debt.” I view these all as “withdrawals!”

Our modern day is full of withdrawals, ESPECIALLY around the holiday season!

Besides the regular sleepless nights, chronic, confounded and compounded stressors, environmental exposures, dehydration and dependencies on substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and prescription medication, the holidays present the stress of shopping, finances, the bustle of celebration hopping, turbulent family issues and the over-indulgence of sweets, treats and libations.

Too many of these withdrawals with less-than-adequate “deposits” will put you in debt for sure. You’ll feel crummy and will not be able to enjoy the true spirit of the holidays!

The health accounting plan is simple:  begin to monitor your withdrawals and deposits.  Just like you would do if you were in debt financially, try to mitigate your withdrawals and focus on adding more deposits. Over time, you will not only be getting out of debt, but you will be truly thriving and being “(W)healthy!  J

Let’s face it, there are always going to be automatic withdrawals, particularly around the holidays. Here are some sure-fire ways to help you get in the black too!

5 Deposits for the Holiday Season:

  1. Getting together with your family can cause a stressful environment.

    To help, choose a “holiday helper” when visiting family. Whether it is your own family of origin, your chosen family or your in-laws, the best of intended visits can go south. Pick one or two friends who know you very well and love you. These friends can serve as a huge support that you can lean on when the going gets tough. Slip into another room or take a walk outside and make quick but meaningful contact in turbulent triggered family times. It is like having a “holiday family sponsor.”

  1. Pick and choose wisely; stay in balance.

    You don’t have to say “yes” to every invitation you get for a holiday gathering and you don’t have to lie to get out of it. When striving for balance, making a commitment to you and staying home or taking a yoga class is enough to decline a party in the holiday hectic times. If you are feeling guilty you can send a trinket of appreciation or a bottle of wine or champagne along with your regret. Look at your calendar in advance and plan wisely! Fail to plan, plan to fail!

  1. Elevate the conversation.

    Chitchat and gossip can be energy-draining and unhealthy at the holiday season parties. Go to the event prepared with a cause that is important to you and take initiative to turn any meaningless or mean chatter in a positive direction. This can change the energy in the room and also create community long after the busy season is over.

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

    Water is by far our best and most under-valued friend in these times. It can help curb the overindulgence of both alcohol and food during holiday celebrations.  Have a bottle or glass of water with you at all times and before you take that second drink of alcohol and/or helping of food, take in at least 10 ounces of water. You will be amazed and the difference this simple action will make.

  1. Use your beverage as your medicine.

    Avoid getting your day started with a robust boost of caffeine, which can tax your adrenals and contribute to dehydration.  Try having herbal teas like peppermint, dandelion and milk thistle. These herbal teas can help the detoxification and digestive process after being “over-served” and perhaps over indulging.

Don’t let the holidays put your health bank account in debt. Balance your withdrawals with your deposits and you will feel great this season!

Holly Lucille, ND, RN
, is a passionate practicing N.D. and nationally acclaimed TV and radio host. She is also an educator, author and lecturer at various health institutions. Dr. Lucille is the past president of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association and was a recipient of SCNM Legacy Award and Daphne Blayden Award from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.




*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.