Ahhh the holidays, filled with so much Christmas spirit and buzz, and also so many food challenges. Whether you restrict, suffer from emotional eating or just in general find the holidays challenging because of the never ending supply of baking and holiday parties, I am here to offer you a few tips on making it through while still feeling in sync with yourself and your goals.
- Be Inflexible On Your Health Care Routine: I always find it funny how people go from being diligent in their self care or health routine (eating well, healthy exercise, getting enough sleep) all the way up until December 1st and then decide that for the month of December none of those things matter. The best thing you can do this month is stick to your routine and be inflexible with yourself and others about giving it up. Perhaps you always go to a yoga class on Tuesdays. Maintain this, not only because its good for you, but also because it will help you feel balanced and aligned with what makes you feel good.
- Pick Your 1 Or 3 Favorites: If you restrict the holidays can be a time that is really triggering because you are surrounded by food that you tell yourself you can’t eat. If you can, push yourself to try one of your favorites even just once. It is a good food challenge that can be hard but hopefully isn’t too overwhelming. If you emotionally eat, pick your 3 favorite things and allow yourself to enjoy them and leave the rest. Often when we emotionally eat we will eat things that we don’t even like because it is there. It is much more worth it to eat foods we actually enjoy and to savor them instead of eating whatever in there simply because it’s available. Be intentional with what you are choosing, and support yourself in making those decisions.
- Set Boundaries: The holidays are often a time when we are surrounded by family and friends and connecting over food. While in many ways this can be a great thing, it is also a time when bad habits can be encouraged. If there are members in your family that are particularly triggering for you, focus on setting boundaries with them as well as with yourself. If you want to be able to enjoy a particular food or meal but your family tends to talk about all the dieting that needs to happen come the new year, kindly ask if the focus can be on celebrating this year instead of on weight and dieting. If you have a family of food pushers, respectfully tell them that you are focusing on taking care of yourself and listening to your body right now. If family isn’t great at receiving this kind of feedback or you don’t feel comfortable opening up then just politely say no thank you and move on. You get to be in control of how you feel and what you want.
The holidays are a hard time for so many reasons. Let’s aim to have this year be a time when we take these 3 steps to heart and prioritize our well being so that we can head into the new year feeling grounded and proud of the efforts we are making to be kind, supportive and nurturing towards ourselves.