For years, between the months of October and December it seemed like my health and body image always took a backseat to an overload of cookies, sweets, baggy clothes, and the winter blues.
It’s always a fun time of year, between holidays, friends, family, and parties, but at the same time, all of this fun often led up to a whole lot of stress. Everything from my finances, to what to wear suddenly seemed like an overwhelming burden and I often compensated for this stress by over analyzing my food choices.
I would meal plan, restrict, and count calories, all in the hopes of looking amazing by the time Christmas day came around. The problem was, my anxiety, that I was convinced was about my weight, was actually about things like seeing long-lost friends, getting along with family, and my money. I never actually addressed these fears and every time I slipped up on my diet, I felt like I just couldn’t take it any more.
The anxiety I was ignoring, thanks to my diet, was then taken out on cake, chocolate, and candy, which I had likely, previously denied myself at a party the night before. Since these times, I’ve finally figured out how to combat holiday stress and now I’m going to share some of my tips with you. Here are 3 of my favorite tips to stay sane during the holidays.
1. Get clear on your emotions.
Don’t let your stress take a backseat. Get clear on what it is that is causing your stress or anxiety and tackle it. If it’s finances, make a budget, if it’s your family, give them a call and talk it out now. Likely your stress over your weight is simply a side effect of a bigger fear. Figure out what that fear is and tackle it.
2. Don’t go on a restrictive diet, or even try to diet during the holidays.
Instead, keep your focus on eating quality whole foods, staying healthy, and weight maintenance. Stressing about your weight or food choices is only going to add on to the stress of the holidays. Plus the increased guilt whenever you eat something not entirely healthy will actually put you at an increased risk to gain weight. De-stress and give yourself permission to enjoy the season.
3. SELF CARE.
It’s very easy when things get busy and stressful to put yourself last on the list of priorities but I want you to make this year different. Consciously take 30 minutes per day for you. Do something you love everyday. Stay active. Get enough sleep. Take days off. It may take some creative scheduling or saying “no” on your part but I promise it is worth it!
I think this is an excellent time of year to put yourself first and really address your health. Why? Because this is the time of year when we often put ourselves last, in favor of everything else in our lives. Remember when you take care of yourself first, you are better able to care for everyone else around you.
Now you tell me….
What are your tips for staying sane during the holidays?