Stress and anxiety about food and body image is a REAL THING around the holidays, but this year we've got a whole other layer of stress-inducing situations to add. With COVID-19 at an all-time high and a tense election that isn't behind us yet, PLUS an increased amount of indulgent treats and savory dishes around this time of year, the circumstances can make it more difficult than ever to be at peace with our food choices and body image.
My goal is to help you enjoy the holiday season and the joy it brings. How exactly? Check out these simple tips to help you stay both physically and mentally healthy during the holidays:
1. DON'T SKIP MEALS - Continue fueling your body with balanced meals like you normally would. Our bodies need consistent fuel in order to effectively complete daily functions (brain function, cell function, organ function, etc.), and trying to "save up" calories for a big meal can lead to increased fatigue, overeating, and feelings of guilt.
2. TAKE THE FOCUS OFF THE FOOD - Now more than ever we need to be investing deeply in the people we love. The holidays offer the opportunity to bring people together, whether in the home or virtually this year. Take time to appreciate the people rather than obsess over the food.
3. ENJOY THE TREATS - Take the pressure off and avoid setting rules about what you can and can't have at the Thanksgiving gathering. Everything in moderation is the key to healthy eating habits. Restriction of particular foods often leads to overeating or binging of those foods later on. So, please, have a piece of pumpkin pie and smile about it.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE - I'm a huge proponent of gratitude. It yields increased happiness and improved mental health. Keep your blessings top of mind; it will help you refocus on the things that matter most. Perspective is so important.
5. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF - You deserve some love and care! Make time for self-care activities and give yourself the opportunity to recharge. Get your nails done, take a nap, buy some new bubble bath, or take a walk with your favorite podcast! This is crucial for mental health. Don't be afraid to take a couple of steps back and take care of yourself.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, however you're spending it!