Nothing brings up a bevvy of impulses to eat our feelings like the holidays! This time of year features an arsenal of emotional eating prompts, from party-social-anxiety, to ancient family triggers, to fiscal panic in a office littered with chocolate and cookies.
With just a little bit of curiosity, kindness, and breathing, we can actually get underneath the impulses that spur us to reach for the cookie when we're not hungry or to grab the third eggnog we really don’t want.
The holidays offer so many options to live abundantly, and we can make the choice to do just that through choosing what we really want for ourselves, rather than viewing this season through a lens of deprivation and restraint.
These moments of presence can help support you in enjoying the holidays instead of escaping into a platter of nuts:
1. Count it Out.
Approach each holiday event with a list of 3 questions to ask yourself about the way you approach food.
- Am I hungry?
- Will this food bring me closer to my feelings or further from them?
- Does this food support my holistic health in some way?
Sometimes even the time it takes to ask the questions provides the space for an impulse to pass.
Chewing is such an underrated champion of our healthy skillset. It supports better digestion, brings added pleasure to our senses, and can be a private meditative moment in an overwhelming situation. Chewing also gives our brains a more reasonable amount of time to decide when we are full, there for we can stop eating before we feel uncomfortable.
3. Get Curious.
When you see what I refer to as “the disembodied hand” reaching out from your arm toward some kind of food you are not hungry for, not excited about, and maybe even kind of gnarled out by, it’s a great time to ask yourself some friendly questions.
- What feeling am I trying to suffocate with this microwaved Moon Pie?
- If I let myself have this feeling instead of gnawing on sixteen neon orange “chicken” wings, what’s the worst thing that could happen?
- If I choose to get to know this feeling better rather than trying to date that punchbowl of eggnog exclusively, what might I discover about myself?
4. Bring A Dish.
If you bring a dish to a holiday party, not only are you a big hero, but you also know that there’s at least one thing there you can feel comfortable noshing on. Bring a healthy carrot and hummus plate, a colorful shredded kale salad with slices of persimmons and shaved fennel, or a quinoa pilaf with toasted walnut pieces and pears.
Healthy food is colorful, delicious, and festive. But even more so, making the effort sends a message to your inner feelings banquet that you are worth the time and the outcome of healthy choices.
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