In this year of transition, you may be experiencing even more holiday angst or worry than usual. Perhaps you skipped last year’s traditions because of COVID concerns and maybe you will be modifying your holiday celebrations this year as well. Even if you are expecting your traditional holiday experience, complete with family, decorations, lots of food, and (yikes I hope not) overeating, here are some tips you’ll want to use to prepare for some possible extra helpings of feelings.
Prepare for feelings.
If you had a break in holiday traditions last year, this year feelings may come on really strong. You may feel extra gratitude, relief to be together with loved ones whom you’ve missed, awkwardness being in a crowd, or anger for lost time. Whatever feelings hit you when you open the door to holiday celebrations, take a breath, notice them, and try to accept them. Focus on the things about the holiday that are a blessing, your loved ones, your faith, the wonderful food (in moderation of course), and the beautiful gift of being together.
Prepare for changes and embrace opportunities for change.
Any break in tradition can change your expectations and experience of your holiday celebrations. Take care of yourself. Realize everyone has been through this difficult time, we all need extra kindness and compassion. Maybe you realize that you don’t like a certain tradition and you decide this is the year you are going to change it so it supports your health and well-being. Perhaps this is the year you decide, “I’m not going to sit next to my noisy uncle who always gives me indigestion.” Or maybe you’ll break out of your routine in another way, that salad you are always expected to bring, what if you add pomegranate seeds for a healthy flare?
Many of us have lost loved ones in the last two years and that missing presence at the table will be your number one focus. If that is the case for you, may you remember your loved one with love. Talk about your missing loved one, ask everyone to tell their favorite holiday memory about them to keep them close and their memory vibrant.
To keep your body happy, try not to overeat or eat too many foods that are really high in fat and calories. Even at the holidays, mindful eating can help increase joy (and avoid that terrible overeating feeling that interferes with sleep and makes you crabby). Try this simple trick to avoid overeating: breathe between each bite. Put down your fork, look around the table at your loved ones and say an internal thanks for all you have. Eating more slowly and with presence, you will notice when you are full so you can stop eating, and enjoy your time so much more!
You may not be used to a full crowded table anymore and just sitting with a large group may feel uncomfortable. If that’s the case, remember to breathe, and keep in mind, no matter how crowded and full your holiday table is, there is always room for gratitude!
Happy Healthy Holidays!
If you are looking for experiences instead of things this holiday season, I have a number of offerings that you can purchase to improve your health and well-being. Or, consider gifting a loved one! Check out my Holiday Offerings here.