While there are so many things to look forward to during the holidays, many of us enter this season preoccupied with the stress of food, weight, and health.
Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, it may seem that platter of holiday cookies just magically refills itself each morning at the office. But while you contemplate enjoying another cookie, your co-worker barges in and begins sharing their New Year’s resolution to ‘go to the gym every day and lose 50 pounds’. The pressure settles in and now you are left, no longer enjoying the sweet taste of the cookie. Instead, you’re left in a heap of guilt and stress about all the food and weight loss hoopla.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The key to enjoying this holiday season is not getting overwhelmed by food and weight. The key is to instead have a clear perspective on them. It really is okay to enjoy the seasonal foods and indulge in a healthy serving of your favorite treat.
“Just as eating a salad for one meal won’t make you instantly healthy, eating your favorite dessert won’t make you instantly unhealthy.”
What’s Most Important?
Is it spending time with that old friend? Beloved family member? Or the day the whole entire family gathers this one time during the year? Is it the cozy feel of the home with the lights and tree? What about the changes in nature with the crisp cool mornings and snow fall?
Start to gain perspective on the things that matter most and make you feel happy. Once you have this clarity, a few Christmas treats don’t seem like such a big deal, do they?
Manage Your Stress
Shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, baking, scheduling parties, the kid’s holiday school events, and continued sports schedules can make you feel like a ticking time bomb in your effort to ‘just make it out alive’. The best thing you can do for yourself and loved ones around you is to get organized.
Go out this week and buy a new calendar if you need to (it’s worth it). Write down all daily tasks and schedule in time for rest and relaxation. If you don’t plan time for a walk in the woods, yoga class in the evening, journaling, reading, or hitting the gym, that time will likely be snatched up quick, because things always come up.
What activities make you feel calm and rested? Schedule those in and don’t miss that appointment.
Schedule in Time For Play
Do you ever look at a young child and feel envious of how much awe and excitement they feel this time of year? One thing to remember is that studies reveal play time to be one of the best ways of relieving stress.
This month, schedule in times to play with your kids, or meet your friends for a night of board games and puzzles. Bundle up and go outside to play with the dog or shoot hoops with family and neighbors.
Don’t commit to restrict this season.
Many people feel more in control when they swear to eat ‘no sweets, sugars, or carbs’ or place restrictions on how much food they will allow themselves to eat. In the end, this only creates more anxiety and turmoil around the whole matter. Instead, make no promises, no restrictions, and set no expectations.
The only promise you need to make to yourself this season is to take responsibility of your health and well-being by focusing on balance. Make this bold statement today, and you may already feel empowered to make the best and healthiest decision for yourself, one holiday gathering at a time.
Feeling empowered helps us feel strong and confident rather than feeling weak and out of control. Practice this and you might be surprised at how much you start to truly enjoy all the food you eat whether it’s a plate of vegetables or a plate of dessert.