Let’s start this by acknowledging that the holidays bring different emotions, struggles, and experiences for everyone. This can be in terms of relationships, food, money, etc. A large focus during the holiday season is food. Did someone say eggnog, pumpkin spice everything, and large quantities of indulgences.
Hey, life is too short for indulgences to be strictly labeled as indulgences. It’s all about finding a way to mindfully enjoy the holiday season.
Leave the “Holiday Season Only” Mindset
Believing that the only time to have eggnog or snowman cookies during the holiday season is a quick way to jeopardize your overall experience. Krista Scott-Dixon, Ph.D, coach and director at Precision Nutrition attends to the feelings of scarcity that this mindset can bring. The brain adapts to these feelings and can lead to poor decisions that do not align with what you want. Of course there are foods and drinks that just scream the holidays. They take you right back to being in front of a fireplace with loved ones all around. However, this doesn’t mean that those special foods can’t exist at other parts of the year – especially if you love them.
It is very common during the holidays and an inaccurate misconception to restrict oneself until dinner or that specific meal / party. It can create a horrible cycle that it is difficult to get out of and from a caloric / health standpoint only impacts you negatively. It can be approrpriate to acknowledge that these occasions are different than the average day, but leave it at that.
Eat and Sit
A major part of eating during the holiday season is being able to appreciate and enjoy food together. It brings a type of pleasure and meaning to the meal. It is recommended to eat after plating your meal and when sitting down. This strategy is to help you consume more slowly and focus more on being surrounded by loved ones.
Eating habits can be impacted both consciously and unconsciously. This includes what, when, and how we eat. These habits can also be altered by who and what we are surrounded by. Some families have a chef of the family who has to have everyone try large amounts of everything or a party starter who never lets a drink get low. Sometimes relationships are strained that cause us to eat differently than how we normally would. It can be helpful to assess how you eat during these situations to help best prepare for understanding a connection between the body and mind in constructive ways.
Holidays can be wonderful and stressful all at the same time. Ease up with moderation to ensure that you get to enjoy the holidays your way.