Emotional eating (overeating) tends to ramp-up during the holidays, because there are more tempting treats; because the holidays can come full with emotions; and because it’s a time of year that many busy women feel more stress and overwhelm.
It tends to be socially acceptable, and even encouraged, to throw all caution to the wind and a perfect excuse to let go of self-control because everyone else is doing the same.
Making it a difficult time for self- awareness and many eat mindlessly and simply go through the motions of “going-with-the-holiday-flow.”
Food is an easy “go-to-strategy” when we are busy and is a pleasant short-term fix but it often leaves us with feelings of guilt and always feels like a letdown.
So, let’s explore 5 top strategies to help you survive, everything the festive season throws and you and land in 2019 recharged & refreshed.
Many smart women tend to go into holidays thinking “I am going to try and eat healthy”.
The problem is that this approach is unclear and lacks focus.
The best approach is planning & making some decisions in advance. This puts you in control of your time and gives you a plan you can follow so that you don’t have to react to unexpected events.
Here are some tips, so grab a note pad and answer these questions:
1.How many events are you attending?
2.What challenges can you anticipate at these events? think of the challenges you have faced in the past.
3. Think of the challenges you have faced in the past and decide what strategies you can use to create a happy experience for you
4.How can you practice being mindful about your food choices?
5.How many drinks are you happy to have?
6.How will you know if you stuck to your plan?
#2 -Get in the driver’s seat
The best place to start is by making some intentional decisions ahead of time. This puts you in control rather than reacting to, all the unexpected things and events that happen when you are exposed to festive foods.
Try asking yourself the following questions:
1.How do you want to feel at the end of your holidays?
Here’s one of my examples:
Next ask yourself this question
2.If feeling this way is my goal how would I eat?
Here’s an example from one of my clients:
I find that focusing on this perspective can really shift your mindset.
Followed by this question
3.What will help you stay committed to your plan?
Here’s an example from one of my clients:
#3 Focus on quality not quantity
Manage your time to create your quality holiday experience
Saying “no” to commitments that drain your energy, you will create magical space in your life that you can fill up with things you are passionate about.
Grab a note book and pen and start creating your magical space list
Make a list of all the things you have - obligations, events, family commitments etc.
Look at the list- Is there anything you can eliminate so that you can spend your energy on meaningful things?
Can you limit the time and energy you will invest into some things?
Are there any events that you can skip?
#4 Find healthy ways to cope
Whether you’re stresses or overwhelmed – while food may pacify you temporarily, it’s not going to satisfy you in the long run or resolve the underlying issues.
Consider some calming activities I have listed below, and have some fun these holidays:
Calming mind games (mini mental changes) will help you focus your attention elsewhere and not on food.
Here are some calming mind games:
Print a few puzzles and keep them handy in the kitchen or in your desk
Place them anywhere tempting foods are kept or at your favorite places for mindless eating.
B. Create a bucket list
This is one of my favourites, its creative and exciting to do!
If you feel the urge to eat, try pausing for a moment and Asking yourself, “What do I really want from my life?”
Then create your list.
These topics will help to get you started on your list:
Then pick something from your list and start planning how to make it happen, even if you aren’t ready to do it immediately.
#5-Shift your focus
There is so much more to the holidays than food.
Focus on enjoying time with family and friends more than food !
Holidays are a perfect time to catch up on those conversations you may have missed during the year.
And it’s a perfect time to create fond memories and reconnect with your family and friends. These are memories you will cherish forever!
Ask yourself now:
And lastly let go of perfection and be kind to yourself
We are here to be real, not to be perfect.
Its ok if you don’t get it perfect, focus and celebrate your wins and you’ll avoid giving up due to feelings of failure.
Yes, it’s a busy season. But when you take care of your body, mind and spirit — making sure you’re well nourished, hydrated, rested and sane — you’ll be better able to handle the intensity and you’ll be a lot more fun to be around.
And finally have a restful and joyous holiday without putting extra stress on yourself to be perfect! Throw away this useless expectation and enjoy your break!
In this article I have shared 5 top strategies to help you get through the festive season so that you can get in the best mental "shape" for 2019.
If you would like help & support with finding healthier ways to nourish yourself and accountability to make sure you follow through, than contact me for a free 15-min mini coaching session.
I am ready to do this. Let’s go!
Emotional Eating Coach
BSc (Biomed), Cert IV (PT), Wellness Coach (Level 3))
I coach 35+ women to put downtheir fork and pick uptheirlife. If you want to end your struggles with excess weight, stress and self-belief, using your strengths and capabilities,book a free 15-minute mini-coaching session with me and I’ll show you how to transform your life.