While a joyous and festive time of year, the holiday season is known to create extra stress and pressure which may trigger your emotional eating. Among the shopping, gift giving, and holiday parties, you might start to feel run down by working extra hours, committing to too many functions and events, and trying to make everything perfect for your loved ones. But wearing yourself out is the perfect recipe for overeating. When you’re stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, you might find yourself turning to (the high amounts of) food surrounding you for comfort!
When the holidays come around and your schedule fills up, it’s not uncommon for self-care to go out the window. But in order to manage overeating during the holidays, you need to make sure to prioritize self care. I believe there are 3 main self-care strategies that can work together to manage stress and as a result, prevent overeating.
1. Put Your Body First
When it comes to the holidays, it’s tempting to ditch self-care. You may skip your regular gym session for a work party or miss out on your sleep to get things organized for the holidays. But in order to get through the holidays successfully, make sure to put your body first. This means getting adequate rest, sleep, and physical activity. Even if you have to change your regular routine, try to schedule in some activity which is great for relieving stress! And although it’s tempting to skip out on your sleep, make sure to get adequate rest so you can be the best version of yourself throughout the holidays!
2. Schedule Time for Yourself
Along the same lines of getting enough rest, make sure to schedule some alone time.Let’s be honest, sometimes socializing – even with family and friends – can be draining. Especially if you find a lot of socializing overwhelming, make sure to balance that out with some quiet or alone time. Whether it’s going for a walk by yourself when staying at your relatives, or having a quiet weekend after a big party, do whatever you need to recharge!
3. Give Yourself Permission to Eat
The holidays can definitely be a difficult time if you struggle with overeating. It seems that everywhere you look there’s chocolate, cake, fudge, and more! If you are worried about binge or over-eating (although it may seem counterintuitive), give yourself permission to eat. When you give yourself permission to have dessert or an extra serving of food, you’re actually lessening the need to binge. Rationally, it’s not the end of the world to have an extra dessert here or there, so give yourself permission to enjoy your food. Eliminate any guilt or shame associated with eating foods you enjoy.
The key to giving yourself permission to eat without over indulging,is to eat mindfully. If you decide to eat an extra serving of dessert, truly enjoy it! Take it all in - how it smells, its texture and taste. Savour each bite and you’ll be more satisfied.
To survive the holidays and manage emotional eating, it’s imperative that you maintain a self-care routine. Taking care of yourself physically (exercise, sleep, nutrition) and emotionally (time spent alone or resting) will help to negate extra stress surrounding the holiday season.
Stay tuned for more helpful advice for the holidays!