You may love the holiday season, but we all know there are some activities; unwrapped gifts, plane-catching, grumpy relatives, burned food and toppled Christmas trees that speak volumes about what’s not to love.
To prevent the holidays from controlling you, use these five tips below to put you in charge so that you can make your holidays merrier and brighter.
Recognize Your Holiday Triggers
You know those things that set you off like holiday shopping or baking for the children’s school party or office party. Not yet done? What about the tree that isn’t decorated yet? And what about that one relative that always gets to you? Anything that you know you will have to attend to, be a part of or engage in a plan and prepare to do it – early on. It is the taking action that will create success for you. Planning and preparing is your motto right now – the sooner the better.
Be Mindful Not Mindless of What You Are Eating
Just because food is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Eating food while watching TV, on the computer, talking on the phone, texting or even reading is mindlessly eating food without paying attention – you’re distracted. What do you get for this in the end? Overweight and feeling lousy about yourself. Awareness is key – Simply paying more attention to what you eat will help stop the habits that encourage weight gain and stress.
Focus On Everything But The Food
Can you possibly revel in holiday spirit without accompanying overdose of food? You bet you can eliminate the thought of not having a lot of food will equate to a ‘bad holiday.’ Yes, food is part of the celebration, it is tradition. However, when food takes center stage is often where the problem of overeating begins. Your 2014 holiday motto: You control the food – not the other way around. Focus on family, friends and activities. Get in the spirit of the season, celebrate the people in your life and realize you are not just there for the food.
If every year you have family drama, prepare for it and let it go. If every year Uncle John drinks in excess, remember you cannot control him. The only control you have is your reaction to the situation. Realistic expectations are key to helping you get more enjoyment out of the celebration as opposed to falling into the emotional downward cascade. We often forget that the holidays are often rife with disappointment and not the happiest of times for many. Being realistic will not set you up for disappointment again.
Just Do It
The number 1 anti-stress and anxiety relief tool prescribed by practitioners is exercise. Research shows exercise has a positive effect on your mood and stress (not to mention your health as well). Stop the excuses that you can’t possibly find time to exercise during the holidays because it’s too cold out, too many family obligations, traveling and many others heard ’round the world. Wouldn’t it be nice to sail through this holiday season healthier, without the extra weight gain and with a better, more positive mind-set? Schedule your exercise and honour it like you would a doctor’s appointment. If it’s too cold outside, you can work out inside. If you don’t have enough time schedule to exercise and try interval training above for only 12 minutes, 3-4 times a week. If you are travelling, pack a jump rope, bring resistance bands or do the above workout in your hotel room.
Getting a handle on the upcoming holiday season is easy once you are prepared and it is easily within your grasp. Using the above tips will help to keep your emotions, expectations and health into perspective so that you can celebrate while minimizing stress and maintaining your holiday cheer this season.