Do the holidays stress you out? There’s the gift shopping, cooking for large groups, and numerous holiday parties. For some, these all sound like fun activities, but others are dreading the social gatherings because they can’t find a dress that suits them or don’t want to have to deal with diet and weight-related talk that often comes up. 

If you find yourself in the second category, here are 5 tips to help you navigate the stressful holiday events (you can find all 12 tips on my Instagram page):

1. Set boundaries. 

Day 1

It’s ok to ignore someone’s comment about your weight and change the subject. However, do understand that these people usually have good intentions when making these comments, so let don’t be so harsh (as tempting as it can be). For example, if someone asks you if you lost weight, you can respond with “I don’t know, but I feel great”. Or if someone is always commenting on your weight, take a deep breath and reply with “Susan, I know you’re trying to help, but it’s not working and I’d like us to shift the focus on something else”. Susan might not get it right away, but that’s Susan’s problem, not yours (FYI I have nothing against people named Susan). This also means you shouldn’t make comments about anyone else’s weight…

2. Spread joy. 

Count your good deeds instead of calories. There are so many people out there who need help during this time of year, so why not volunteer at your local food bank, nursing home, or community center. You’ll likely feel a great satisfaction and it’ll keep you busy, giving you less time to spend counting calories!

 

3. Enjoy the time off.

Relax, spend quality time with friends and family, and watch cheesy holiday movies. With the hectic weeks leading to the holidays, this is the perfect opportunity to take some time for yourself. Treat yourself; it helps you reduce stress and feel better about yourself. Self-care never hurt anybody!

4. Enjoy your food.

Take time to savor foods you don’t normally have this time of year. Turkey and stuffing, tourtière, bûche de Noël, Christmas cookies, are other popular Christmas foods aren’t the lightest in terms of calories. But who cares! 

day 2

Are you hungry? Does it taste good? Are you going to feel good (both physically and mentally) during and after you eat it? Are you in the mood for it? If the answer is yes to all of the above, then go for it. Own your decision and allow yourself to enjoy it. 

You also have to ask yourself why you can’t have these foods during the rest of the year and think about including them more often! So plan to have turkey and stuffing again in a few months (you can use turkey or chicken breasts if that’s easier). Maybe you won’t feel the urge to overeat once do you see that food. Which brings us to our next tip:

5. Be compassionate.

Enjoy it, accept it, and move on. Do this even if you overate. It was one meal, it won’t change the rest of your life. Your life is not based on how many extra calories you ate on Christmas eve. As we saw earlier, it they were delicious and made you feel good, what’s the problem? So no need to compensate with excessive exercise or restriction the next day(s).

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