I understand this is also a completely non-magical time for many that can be filled with painful memories, reminders of what is lost, financial stress, and complete overwhelm. However, the tips included in here will hopefully serve as a reframe of what this time can bring to you! Which can always be a time of giving to yourself, first and foremost.
The winter holiday season has special air of magic.
Children are over the moon about the festive decorations and the thought of Santa arriving, the streets are filled with magical lights and decorations, parties are in full swing, people are putting on their holiday best, and there are more indoor social gatherings than any other time of the year.
As someone who just adores quality time with the people I care about, this time of the year is incredibly special to me! Plus, I’m a sucker for the festive decorations and seasonal foods & treats.
While there are so many special things about this time of the year, it can also be a trigger for:
Stress about losing control around food
Bingeing as we anticipate starting a new diet come January 1st
These completely remove us from the present moment and any potential magic.
What a shame, right?
Rather than spending all of our precious time and energy on tightly controlling our bodies and food consumption or stressing about how all hell is breaking loose, we can vow to commit to just a few practices throughout the holiday season.
These aren’t rules—they’re the building blocks to a relationship with food that is based on FREEDOM. A sense of freedom that transcends the holidays and empowers us to turn inward for the answers.
1. Get Present
This is a non-negotiable, truly, and it’s the difference between success and struggle with my clients. This can be especially difficult during this hectic time of the year, which is why it’s even more important to give this gift to yourself!
Meditation is my preference (as you likely guessed if you follow me), but even a few minutes of deep breathing alone, journaling, or a walk outside can bring you back to yourself. Connect to your inner landscape, and you’ll instantly find yourself back in your power.
2. Ask yourself this simple question: Does this choice 1) empower me physically or 2) up-level my soul experience?
Don’t get caught up in the nuances of what “soul” means—it’s simply a term that defines the deep, meaningful desires of our mental and emotional selves.
If you’re clearly not hungry and/or don’t anticipate needing additional food energy (empowering yourself physically) and/or it’s not really lighting you up from the inside out (up-leveling your soul experience), then pause and sit with the desire for a moment.
If the desire to reach for food isn’t prompted by one of the two driving factors above, then it’s likely caused by an emotional trigger:
To numb or distract
While food is appealing in the moment, it’s a band-aid solution that will only lead to us feeling worse in most cases.
Our intentions behind our choices are the focus here.
3. Mind Your Business
It can certainly be frustrating to find ourselves justifying our decisions to family and friends if we’re not going overboard on food, booze, and treats—or if we are. Oftentimes, we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t, so it’s important to keep your focus on you!
While it’s important to draw boundaries from the judgment and opinions of others, we also need to ensure we’re not allowing the choices of others—especially if we deem them to be “healthier” or “better” than our own—to derail us from our own intuition and responses to Number 2 above.
Someone will always be eating more vegetables, drinking less booze, eating less dessert, or eating smaller portion sizes. Those choices have absolutely nothing to do with your own, so keep your focus inward when making your food choices—mind & body.
These are similar to my recent thoughts on traveling, as the holidays are also fleeting with so much potential for magic.
However, this time of the year shouldn’t be used as an opportunity to harm ourselves with the guise of celebration.
Gorging ourselves with processed foods and booze in an effort to numb or circumvent discomfort isn’t serving us in any way.
It’s certainly not up-leveling our physical or soul experiences—it’s detracting from both of them!
Get yourself grounded in the present moment, assess the motivations and intentions behind your impulses—physically and mentally—and maintain this inward focus in the face of external influences.
We only get to experience this amazing season once per year, so don’t let the opportunity to make the most of it while feeling your best pass you by!