12 Nov Surviving The Holidays: Body, Mind And Spirit
The holiday season is right around the corner, and with the holidays comes food, festivities and more. Together, we encourage you to please print and share this issue with all your friends, family members, and co-workers. As nutrition experts we understand the importance of self care in every part of yourself – mental, emotional, spiritual AND physical.
Cheers to a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season!
Be flexible about your expectations.
Almost nothing can turn out exactly as planned, so hoping for it will only lead to disappointment.
Plan ahead for uncomfortable situations.
Have a “safe spot” you can escape to if family gatherings become stressful, and plan a way to excuse yourself. Think about realistic scenarios that might occur and plan how you will respond.
Get organized so you don’t have to duplicate effort.
Write a shopping list organize them by geography. Take things with you on the way to work so you can do them on your way home from work.
Try not to count calories or weigh yourself.
This adds to your stress. If the thought of not weighing worries you, find a friend who will weigh you backward and reassure you as long as you are within a 5 pound range. This way you will know you are within your usual weight range without panicking over a 1 or 2 pound gain that could easily be due to water retention after a big meal.
It’s harder to take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself.
Schedule time for yourself, and keep the appointment, just as you would if it were a business meeting.
Maintain your regular sleep, exercise and eating patterns.
This is not the time to “go on a diet” or make drastic changes to your lifestyle. It is also not a good time to be sleep deprived.
Don’t skip meals.
Even if you have a big meal coming up soon eat on time so that you are not starving when you are surrounded by food.
Overeating occasionally does not cause instant weight gain.
If you eat more than usual at a holiday meal or party, remind yourself that overeating occasionally does not cause instant weight gain and that your body knows what to do with that food. It is normal to eat more than usual during the holidays, and it really is okay. In all likelihood you will return to your normal eating habits the next day, and your body will normalize. In fact, if you honestly listen to your hunger, you probably won’t be hungry again for quite a while, and your total food intake for the day may be the same.
Recognize your limits and practice saying no.
This includes when people offer you food. Never overeat because of pressure from others.
Listen to your body.
Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, rest when you’re tired, and relax when you’re stressed.
Think of activities the whole family can do instead of sitting around eating.
Self Care for your Spirit
Don’t overdo it.
Don’t schedule too many activities that you become exhausted. List all the parties to which you are invited, all your errands, etc. Prioritize, then cross off those that are honestly not necessary or that will only add to your stress. Determine what you enjoy most during the holidays and schedule time for it. Determine what you enjoy least and cross it off your list! If you are really honest with yourself, you may realize most of your time is scheduled to make others happy. A little selfishness goes a long way this time of year toward making you happy.
Words of encouragement.
Find a scripture or saying that is meaningful to you, and carry it in your wallet or purse. Turn to it for comfort or a reality check when stress gets high.
Walk away from no-win situations.
Arguing when everyone’s stress is high tends to lead to more stress.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
Try to look “on the bright side” whenever you can; laugh as much as possible, even (especially!) at your own mistakes.
Accept the things or family members that you cannot change.
Figure out how you can change your behavior or attitude to cope and to take care of yourself. Prepare responses to things people may say that make you uncomfortable.
Pacts can be impactful.
Make a pact with a friend or loved one to “just listen” to each other for 5 or 10 minutes each day. No talk, no advice giving, just listening.
Find time to be spiritual in your own way.
Whether it is through religion, faith, meditation, giving thanks, art or your own expression of yourself.
Self-care should remain your priority when approaching difficulties in the holiday season. Mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health should all be kept in mind with not only yourself, but your loved ones around you.
This holiday season, I want YOU to believe that you are capable in sticking to your nutritional goals. If you need some help, be sure to sign up for my Healthie Concierge package where I can help you manage your diet this season.
by Yvette Quantz & Rafael Bettencourt
Start planning your holiday meals! Check out the Weight Management Workbook for a head start on your healthy holidays:
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