The holiday season can often cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed. According to some recent statistics:
- 69% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time”
- 69% are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money”
- 51% feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or get gifts”
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed can sometimes lead us to make unhealthy decisions around our food and neglect our self-care practices. While I know all too well how easy those habits are, my goal for you during this season is to reduce your stress and focus on the excitement of holiday time, so that you are able to take better care of yourself.
Here are some simple ways to help you reduce stress and prevent weight gain around the holidays.
1.) Slow Down
When we are in a high stress mode our body shuts down the digestive process, not too mention the disruption it causes to our emotional and spiritual state. Slowing down is the key to healthy eating and reducing our stress. It helps our body digest better and burn more fat! Some ways to help yourself get slow are practicing yoga, being out in nature or simply focusing on your breathing.
2.) Mindful Eating
Eating mindfully means we are paying attention to what we are eating. We are aware of all our sensations and what is happening in our body. It also includes eating without distractions and enjoying our food! Begin by taking a breath before you eat, say a word of thanks, smell your food and really experience the textures and sensations in your mouth.
3.) Plan & Prepare
Being prepared helps to reduce our stress and anxiety. When we are prepared we worry less about running out of time and are able to focus on staying present. Some ways to help prepare for the holidays are to do your shopping early, never go to a party on an empty stomach, bring a healthy dish with you and don’t over extended yourself and be afraid to say no.
4.) Practice Gratitude
Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, higher long-term satisfaction with life, less anxiety and depression, and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. The holidays are a great time to begin a daily gratitude practice. It will not only improve your health, but enhance your life. Begin with a gratitude journal and write 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday!
5.) Move Your Body
We all know that exercise is a key ingredient to any health and wellness plan. It can help you lose weight, reduce your stress, enhance your immune system and make you feel better about yourself. I encourage you to find a movement that you enjoy such as; dance, yoga, walking, running, spin class, boxing, martial arts, etc. If you don’t have an exercise routine start one now!
6.) Nourish Yourself
All you need is love. In order to lose weight and reduce your stress the answer is always love. You need to make loving yourself your #1 priority. For many of us self-care is considered taboo. We think we are being selfish when we spend time spoiling ourselves. Well I am here to tell you that nourishment is the best holiday gift you can give yourself.
OK, so there they are, some simple ways to help you have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. Remember that stress and anxiety often cause us to over think and stay “stuck in our minds”. In order to help us feel more peaceful and at ease we must slow down, practice gratitude and try to nourish ourselves everyday.