Dealing with an Upset Stomach During the Holidays

Dealing with an Upset Stomach During the Holidays

Introduction: Why Upset Stomachs Are Common During the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to the delicious food and festive gatherings that come with it. However, this time of year can also bring about digestive issues such as upset stomachs. In this article, we will explore the reasons for upset stomachs during the holidays and provide tips on how to deal with them effectively.

Identifying the Causes of Your Upset Stomach

There are several factors that can contribute to an upset stomach during the holidays. By identifying the cause of your discomfort, you can better address the issue and prevent it from recurring.

Overeating is common during festive gatherings, and consuming large quantities of food in a short period can cause your stomach to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Additionally, indulging in rich, fatty, or spicy foods can irritate your stomach lining and lead to indigestion.

Alcohol consumption can also play a role in causing an upset stomach. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can cause gastritis, a condition where the stomach lining becomes inflamed. Moreover, alcohol can interfere with the normal functioning of your digestive system, leading to issues such as acid reflux and heartburn.

Lastly, stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on your digestive health. The holiday season can be a stressful time for many people, and stress can often manifest itself as physical symptoms, including an upset stomach.

Practicing Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues, as well as savoring each bite of food. This practice can help prevent overeating and promote better digestion. Here are some tips for practicing mindful eating during the holidays:

Firstly, listen to your body and eat only when you are genuinely hungry. It can be easy to get caught up in the festivities and eat just for the sake of it, but this often leads to overeating and discomfort. Focus on enjoying the company and the atmosphere, rather than just the food.

Take small bites and chew your food thoroughly. This not only aids digestion but also allows you to enjoy the flavors and textures of your meal more fully. Additionally, try to eat slowly, as this gives your body time to register when it is full, preventing you from overeating.

Lastly, be mindful of portion sizes. Opt for a smaller plate if possible, and try to fill it with a balance of different food groups, including plenty of vegetables. Remember, you can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry.

Choosing Stomach-Friendly Foods

While it is essential to enjoy your favorite holiday treats, it is also important to be aware of the impact certain foods can have on your stomach. Here are some tips for choosing stomach-friendly foods during the holidays:

Opt for lean proteins, such as turkey or chicken, instead of fatty meats, which can be more difficult to digest. Similarly, choose grilled or baked options over fried foods.

Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meal, as these provide essential nutrients and fiber to aid digestion. However, avoid gas-producing vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, which can cause bloating and discomfort.

When it comes to desserts, consider choosing options that are lower in fat and sugar, such as fruit-based desserts or sorbet. These can be gentler on your stomach than rich, creamy treats.

Lastly, be cautious with your alcohol intake. Stick to moderate amounts and consider choosing drinks that are lower in alcohol content, such as wine or beer, over hard liquor.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining good digestive health, especially during the holidays when our diets may be less balanced than usual. Adequate hydration helps to keep the digestive system functioning smoothly and can also help prevent overeating by ensuring you feel full.

Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and consider increasing this amount if you are consuming alcohol, as alcohol can dehydrate your body. Additionally, try to limit your intake of caffeinated and carbonated beverages, as these can contribute to dehydration and upset your stomach.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

As mentioned earlier, stress and anxiety can play a significant role in causing an upset stomach. Finding ways to manage stress during the holidays can not only improve your overall well-being but also help to prevent digestive issues. Here are some tips for managing stress during the holidays:

Establish boundaries and learn to say no when necessary. It is impossible to attend every event and fulfill every obligation, so prioritize your time and energy on activities and people that bring you joy.

Incorporate relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, into your daily routine. These practices can help you stay centered and calm during the busy holiday season.

Ensure you are getting enough sleep, as a lack of sleep can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

Seeking Medical Advice

If your upset stomach persists or worsens, it may be necessary to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can help determine the underlying cause of your discomfort and recommend appropriate treatments. Additionally, if you experience severe or alarming symptoms, such as persistent vomiting, blood in your stool, or sudden weight loss, do not hesitate to contact a healthcare professional immediately.


Dealing with an upset stomach during the holidays can be uncomfortable and frustrating, but by identifying the causes of your discomfort, practicing mindful eating, choosing stomach-friendly foods, staying hydrated, managing stress, and seeking medical advice when necessary, you can enjoy the festive season without digestive issues. Remember to listen to your body and prioritize your well-being during this busy time of year.