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5 things to do during the holidays to protect your self-care

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With the holidays upon us, it is easy for us to get wrapped up in other things and totally forget about self-care. Here are 5 things you can do to make sure you are caring for yourself this holiday season.

  1. ENGAGE IN SOME FORM OF MOVEMENT.

Now, this is not to promote an intense work out for the sole purpose of justifying how much you’re going to eat throughout this time - working out just to eat more is a form of negative relations around food.

This to encourage giving yourself grace and maintaining your active lifestyle regardless of what time of year; I remind my clients about this often during these months.

2. PLAN AHEAD. I CALL THIS “MINDFUL PRIMING.”

The intention is to prepare yourself for what’s about to happen. You can do this by journaling or voicing what to expect the upcoming evening or gathering and how you're going to approach it.

For example:

If you know you're going to a business outing or family dinner, remind and make yourself very clear if it’s a trigger for overindulging. Then exercise the following:

  • Choice #1 - Ask yourself what you're going to do differently to avoid the pitfall (bring your own snacks, eat prior, etc.) and/or ask someone to hold you accountable to a certain portion or food choice. Then, take a moment to acknowledge how you feel afterwards – satisfied? Grateful? Proud?
  •  Choice #2 - Be okay with indulging but DO NOT think twice, dwell or punish yourself afterwards. Enjoy it and then be done with it!

 You and your body will thank you when it’s all said and done. There won’t be any need for “damage control”.

Feeling guilty or shame around the holidays is only going to waste your energy on time you’re never going to get back. If you overeat or decide to have a slice (or two) of pie, don’t resort to feeling like your whole day is ruined. It’s absolutely not and it’s OK. Just remind yourself that your body is resilient and now is not the time to stress (you can read why HERE – link mindful eating).

 Related: Why what you think while you eat matters

3. EAT WELL FOR THE REST OF THE DAY.

 Do your best to try and balance your blood sugar and hormones for the majority of the day by eating balanced meals around the events or gatherings. Remember that eating well is a form of self-respect and, trust me, not only will feel better physically but emotionally as well! We want all the joy!

4. DON’T FORGET ABOUT WATER.

With all of the delicious drink options, hot cocoa, cocktails, egg nog, etc. it can be easy to forget about one of the most important fluids in our body – water!

So, think of how to maintain your daily intake, is this by carrying your water bottle or putting a reminder on your phone?

5. COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS – SAY NO AND DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.

This is your life and you have the power to enforce how you choose to live it. It’s important to remember that your needs are first. It’s easy to give in to the pressures from our loved ones, however, at the end of the day you have to live (and feel) that decision, they don’t. I’ve noticed many insecurities are casted through the need to judge and pressure others, so do your best to not give in and hold your head high! If you give them no other choice, I promise, they’ll adjust accordingly.

If you need some accountability - speak with a credible healthcare practitioner. I’ve helped many clients prepare for travel and events so they don’t let the overwhelm consume them! 

Be Safe & Happy Holidays!

cassie brown - black female therapists

Cassie Brown, MS, CHHP is a remote Holistic Nutritionist specializing in Stress maintenance & Gut Health and the owner of Candid Health.

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