The holiday season tends to come with a whole new level of stress and emotions, but does it really have to? Unfortunately, one of the most common emotions people feel around the holidays is anxiety.
The worry of seeing a family member, the rush of getting the perfect gift, the extra long traffic wait, the financial burden and buyer’s remorse that can come with gift giving, the expectation of traditional holiday meals and falling off the “bandwagon” are just a few of the most common triggers for anxiety around the holidays.
Although many triggers are inevitable, it is important to acknowledge that your perception and actions during these situations can change the outcome of your emotions, such as anxiety. Before you allow the rush of worry, disappointment or failure to arise, resulting in anxious thought patterns, here are a few of my top tips for managing your anxiety around eating throughout the holidays:
+ First and foremost, there is no such thing as a wellness bandwagon. We are on our own journey of health and wellness which is uniquely individualized. You don’t hop on in January and hop off during the holidays. You are on it for good!
+ Be mindful. Rather than wrestling with guilt, if you decide to indulge in your grandmother’s delicious butter tarts, enjoy every bite while remaining mindful of the taste, texture, smell and potentially the memories associated with this special treat.
+ Bring something you would make for yourself to boost your nutritional levels, like a salad or roasted veggies. Not only does this allow you to get a balance of nutritious and your favourite holiday foods, it will inspire others around you to boost their nutrients too.
+ 80/20 rule. If you are staying committed to your health and wellness goals during the week and really focusing on providing the body with proper nourishment 80% of the time, appreciate and indulge the other 20% without any guilt! This helps to build a healthy and balanced relationship with your food.
+ Do not fall into the perspective of “earning your” food. The mind game of “I can eat this cake, IF I run it off later” can create an unhealthy relationship with food and your conscience.
+ Do not push your limits for the pleasure of others. Rather than pleasing every extended family member by agreeing to another baked good, glass of alcohol or plate of turkey, be honest and politely decline.
Lastly, the most important tip for reducing anxious feelings around the holidays is to take time for yourself. This is so important to allow your mind, body and soul to reset and recharge before your next interaction with friends and family. Whether you take time in the morning to journal and mediate, go to a yoga class or for a walk, or even sitting on the couch with Christmas music in the background, a tea in your hand and gazing at the lights on your Christmas tree.
Wishing you a safe, happy, healthy and balanced holiday!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
F O L L O W U S O N S O C I A L M E D I A