This Holiday Survival Guide will get you through the stress that holidays can cause revolving around food.
For many of us, the holidays can be very stressful because of all the food involved. For most Americans, they jump into the holidays with the thoughts of eating as much pie, stuffing, cookies, and other treats that they can literally stuff into their bodies, knowing they’ll have a chance to “start over” once the holidays are all over.
For example with Thanksgiving, many people starve for the whole day to be sure they’ll be able to stuff all this food in all at once. Others start their morning off with a hearty plate-full of pumpkin pancakes, just to set the tone for the day.
I don’t know about you, but that whole scenario gives me anxiety. Really.
Food during the holidays can be hard for people on many levels.
Holidays can be hard for someone who struggles with dieting and trying to stay healthy and doesn’t want to blow it on a slice of pie, even though they can pretty much taste the cinnamon-laden apples on their tongue.
I want to help you out. I’ve come up with a few tips and would like to provide you with a Mini-Survival Guide.
Whether this is someone who is going to be at the same dinner as you or not, you need to have someone you can go to. Someone you can talk to beforehand, in order to let them know how your feeling. What’s going on in your head? Why are you freaking out about Thanksgiving or your work potluck? What scares you the most? What do you want from this support person? Ask this person if it’s ok if you can call them throughout the day if you run into a hard time. You need to trust that this person will be there for you and will be able to help you through the day.
Make a Plan
That’s right. You need a plan for the days that are freaking you out the most. The last thing you want to do is just wing it, hoping that you don’t have a major breakdown. You are going to think about what foods you truly want to eat. How much you would like to eat. How you want to feel after you’re finished eating. Go in with a game plan. If you really want to try those appetizers, go for it. But let’s just plan it out and make sure that’s what you really want.
Don’t Starve Yourself!
How many Thanksgiving mornings have you just decided not to eat because you’re going to be eating so much later on in the day? I know I’ve done it. Definitely more than once. This is not a good idea. The hungrier you are when you get to dinner-time, the more you are going to eat impulsively and probably stray from the plan you had made for yourself. Just eat a normal breakfast like every other day. If dinner isn’t until mid-afternoon or evening, eat a normal lunch as well. Treat this like a normal day. Chances are high that you will probably treat your Thanksgiving meal similar to a dinner if you take this stance.
Yup, you’ve got to do it. If you start to feel overwhelmed, just take a step back from things, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. Clear your mind and just breathe. Maybe even step outside for a minute. You will probably find that you can handle the situation better once you’ve focused on your breathing and have cleared your head a bit.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Seriously, this is just one day. If you happen to steer away from your plan a little bit, it’s ok. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Thanksgiving and so many of the other holidays this time of year truly are difficult food-oriented holidays, even for people who don’t have food issues. You are not alone in this. Just try your best to enjoy yourself and your company and not be to hard if you slip up a bit.
What It’s Really About
Above all, let’s remember this very important note. The holidays shouldn’t be all about the food. Sure, there is going to be some delicious grub throughout the entire season, but the time spent with your friends and family should come first. A day spent reflecting on all the things that we are thankful for. A day to enjoy each other’s presence. Telling stories, playing games, cooking a meal together in the kitchen, reminiscing with your siblings. That’s what the holidays are all about.
Try to focus on that. Try not to think too deeply about what you are or aren’t eating. Don’t worry about what Aunt Mable thinks about what’s on your own plate. Most people are too consumed in their own lives that they don’t realize if you’ve hardly touched anything on your plate.
I hope you are able to enjoy your holidays. I am grateful for each and every one of you.
Be grateful for your life and for all the blessings that you have been given. Cherish it and Enjoy it.