Last week, we talked all about staying on sugar’s good side throughout the holidays, which will definitely help make this month more enjoyable. Today, I want to continue on this topic, of how to keep the holidays as enjoyable as possible without going overboard on all the food, and how to fight the overwhelm that comes with the season. Today, we are talking less about food, and instead talking about something else that is very necessary to help you get through all the ups and downs that are inevitably coming your way.
Yes, something so simple, but so necessary.
The more you feel supported, the less stressed you are, and the more fun you are having…the less reliant you will be on food and alcohol to get you through the season. See how everyday life, health, and food are all interwoven? You can’t deal with one without dealing with the other, so let’s talk about how you can get some support this holiday season.
Find an accountability and/or venting partner.
This month gets busy, but not so busy that you can’t send a weekly text message, or have a ten-minute phone call. Which is why I suggest finding a partner to keep you sane this month. Someone you can message when you’ve had a bad day and will remind you that you get to start all over tomorrow. Someone who can steer you off the ledge of eating the whole roll of cookie dough. Someone who will lend an ear when you can’t handle the family house guests anymore. Ask a friend, a sister, a coworker to be your holiday partner. Make a time to check-in at least weekly so you don’t go the whole month feeling crazy.
Ask your family to stop with the peer food pressure.
Family usually the best of intentions, but they often want to show their love through food. It’s understandable, since they have poured their heart into making a delicious meal, but it can lead you to eat more than you want, or eat something you don’t want, because you feel an obligation. I see two ways around this. First is to kindly ask your family member before the meal to not offer you seconds, or dessert, because that is the best way they can best support you in your health efforts. If they know ahead of time that they can support you in that way, they will still feel like they are showing their love (and it’s your little secret with that person). The second option is what I usually do. I usually give over-the-top compliments to the chef and tell them that I simply can’t eat another bite. They may ask a few times if I want more, but I hold my ground and the compliments usually satisfy them.
Make a workout date with a friend, or tell your instructor when you will be back.
It’s easy to skip your workout routine when life gets busy, but one way of holding yourself accountable is to simply tell your teacher/instructor when you will see them again. Then, they know to expect you on Tuesday, and if you aren’t there, they will notice, which sometimes is just enough to get you into class. I’m a yoga teacher and I always notice who is there and who is not, and if someone wants me to hold them accountable, I would gladly do so. Or, you can make a date to go on a walk or attend a class with a friend. If they are expecting you, it’s much easier to get yourself moving.
Ask for help.
Whether you hire help, or ask a friend for help, just make sure to find some help when you need it this month. Figure out what tasks can be delegated and then delegate! Get your groceries delivered, hire a babysitter so you can shop in peace (or even just relax!), get the house cleaned, pay someone to make a few meals for your family, drop your kids off at a friends for a few hours and let her do the same later in the week, pay the extra couple bucks to get something gift-wrapped, etc. There are ways to get help, whether you have extra money or not, you just need to make a point to ask for it!
Sometimes during the holidays, even though you are around more people than normal, you may feel more alone than normal. And that feeling is normal. Know that you are not alone, and don’t be afraid to find the support that you need this month.
One way I’m offering some holiday support is in the form of a group program, the 12 Days of Healthy Christmas. There will be daily health inspiration emails to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas, and group support through our Real Food First community. It’s fun and free and I’d love for you to join us!