Tips for Surviving the 2020 Holiday Season with Digestive Issues

red sweater bloated woman2020 has been a stressful year causing some serious ups and downs for all of us.  If you have Digestive Issues your symptoms may have blown up a little more than they normally do.

With it being an election year on top of everything else, the holidays are going to be a little more stressful to manage, which can mean worse digestive issues. 

Digestive Issues has been proven to flare-up when stress levels rise. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you manage your digestive issues.  Many of the tips we have for you are focused on keeping your anxiety and stress levels low. This way you enjoy yourself and don’t have to worry about digestive issues ruining your holidays.

So let’s get right into it!

1. Know your boundaries and let others know what you are and aren’t comfortable with.

Boundaries are important for protecting your mental and physical health. 

Everyone has different views when it comes to COVID-19, but just because they’re different doesn’t mean you need to adopt theirs if you aren’t comfortable. 

If you’re nervous about contracting COVID-19, let people know that you’d prefer them to respect the 6-feet space or wear a mask. 

If you’re less nervous about it, then letting people know that too can make you more comfortable. 

Physical touch can help to reduce stress hormones when it’s from someone you care about. 

2. Prepare for travel based on your comfort boundaries.

If you’ll be traveling, look into what ways may be best for you to remain in your comfort zone. 

Form of Travel

If you need to fly, double-check what precautions the airports will be taking to help keep you safe. Getting an aisle seat might be a good idea in case you have to go to the bathroom frequently.

If you’ll be driving, make sure you check for bathroom stops along the route you’ll be taking. This way you aren’t caught in a bind with no options.

Traveling Supplies

Keeping yourself prepared with your traveling supplies is key to an easy trip. Some things to keep in your on-person travel bag should include:

  • Masks
  • Extra undergarments
  • Extra pants (preferably loose ones)
  • Hand sanitizer (use sparingly)
  • Necessary medications (prescriptions, antacids, anti-anxiety, stool softeners, etc.)
  • Snacks that don’t irritate your symptoms

You’d be surprised at how being prepared with these items can ease your mind and your digestive issues.

3. Learn and practice relaxation techniques.

Whether you use focused breathing, meditation, or mindfulness techniques, they’ve all proven to be effective for managing digestive issues and stress. By learning them and how and when to use them, you’re able to control your stress levels and your symptoms. This is the best way to begin mending your mind/gut connection. 

Another way to mend your mind/gut connection is to start focusing on a healthier diet which can help you to manage anxiety through gut microbiota modulation


4. Expect the unexpected.

While preparation will be your best friend, so will being flexible. Continuing to have an open mind to what things will be abnormal helps you to manage the stress of the situation a little bit better. 

Don’t dwell on this too much since it can cause your anxiety and stress to rise. Acknowledge that there will be changes and your plans may not go exactly as you hope, and adjust so you can get back on track.

5. Nourish your microbiome ahead of time.

Gut health, as mentioned above, has a lot to do with how well you manage your stress. Check with your doctor about what will be the best method for you. Some options you can choose from are prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics.


Prebiotics are foods that feed your good bacteria. They’re foods that are full of the nutrients they need to create a well-balanced microbiome. They’ve been proven to help with gut and stress-related health. 

Fruits and vegetables are great sources of prebiotics (especially those high in polyphenols). 

Another option is Atrantil. Atrantil is made of three polyphenol-filled foods that help to feed your bacteria and keep your microbiome and digestive tract healthy. 


Probiotics are bacterial strains from our food or supplements that get added to the mix of those in our microbiome. Probiotics are sometimes really helpful for people with digestive issues while others really struggle when they take them. Go based on your previous history with using probiotics to see if they’re right for you. If you haven’t tried them, talk to your doctor and see if they’re the right thing for you.


Postbiotics are the products that are released from your bacteria that go out and carry out different tasks throughout your body. Postbiotics like short-chain fatty acids are extremely helpful in brain and gut health alike. Atrantil, because it feeds your gut bacteria, also provides your body with essential postbiotics to maintain overall body health.

Talk to your doctor and see if Atrantil is right for you.

6. Get your body on a good routine and try to stick with it.

Exercising, sleeping, waking up, and eating at the same time every day helps your body (and especially your gut) get on great routines. If you continue a routine, your body isn’t as shell-shocked when you’re traveling. 

Stop along the way and walk around along your road trip or get up and walk around on the plane (as long as it’s safe to) so you avoid becoming constipated. If you’re traveling to a different time zone, trying to remain on the same schedule you do at home could be the best way for you to manage your symptoms. 

7. Watch out for holiday foods that could be secret digestive triggers.

Holidays bring out some of our favorite comfort foods. If you’re the cook this year, be mindful of what you’re cooking with. Foods that have a lot of bread, sodium, sugar, or other carbs can send someone with digestive issues into a flare-up. 

High-FODMAP foods like onions, leafy greens, and alcohol can really be bad for someone with digestive issues so be wary if your guests (or you) suffer from digestive issues. 

As always, eating in moderation can help to avoid flare-ups, but watching specific food types can help immensely. 

This holiday season is going to be different, but it doesn’t have to make your symptoms worse. Prepare yourself for what you can, let go of what you can’t control, and try to enjoy yourself the best way you can!

What have you found to help you with your digestive issues flare-ups around the holidays? Let us know in the comments below! :)

IBS Diet Options and IBS-Focused Food Pyramid