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  • Writer's pictureTami

Worried about weight gain over Christmas?

We can list that under "things you don't need to worry about" this year.

Are you acting or reacting?

There is a fairly simple way to keep your cool this season and save yourself from the guilt, overwhelm, and exhaustion that plagues so many women around the holiday season. I'm talking about mindfulness of course.

You might be wondering- "How am I supposed to be mindful when there is just way too much to do in the 5 short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas?!" And that my friend is the first sign of trouble.

It's as simple as looking at your days and figuring out if you are chronically reacting to things or taking action to make things happen the way that you want them to happen.

So often, a lack of planning turns out to be twice as much time and effort trying to right the ship, when if you had simply invested a bit of planning time in the first place you would have saved time, energy, and headaches. Instead of reacting after the fact, work on taking action before hand- a simple mindful awareness strategy is all you need to flip your mindset.

A 2-minute look at your day to be aware of any potential issues so that you can simply know that they are there is all it takes to take action.

In my experience there are some common problem spots that can turn even the healthiest habits into days of reacting. Let's look at three of the biggest holiday situations that risk your healthy lifestyle:

  1. Holiday cocktails

  2. Holiday cookies

  3. Holiday schedules

I'm about to show you how a simple shift in mindset can change your whole holiday experience...mind blown in 3...2...1....

Outsmarting holiday hangovers

I get it, you deserve a cocktail or two! You've been good all year and it's time to celebrate- also family time- the ultimate reason for a good stiff drink. I'm not going to disagree, but I am going to ask if it's worth it.

What seems like a good idea at the time can lead to disrupted sleep, hormone imbalance, and mood swings that last days past the last mimosa has been topped off. Forcing you to react to your choices after the fact.

Let's face it sometimes good ideas go bad- that mostly happens when you react to a situation instead of taking action ahead of time. How often have you had two or three cocktails because you were just so happy to be in the company of good friends? Yeah, we've all been there. Peer pressure sucks.

There is a way to still enjoy your gingerbread martini and not have all the negative repercussions. That way is to be mindful of what happens when you over-indulge and create a fool-proof plan to avoid mindless reactions. It's mindfulness at work.

If one cocktail has no ill effects then by all means indulge mindfully. Just set a one drink maximum and stick to it.

You could even switch to water or sparkling water after your one drink to keep the evening going. If you have the bandwidth you can bring a fun and festive mocktail to the gathering and enjoy the festivities with zero proof.

Counting cookies is dumb

I stand by this 100%. Please don't be a cookie counter. Be a mindful cookie monster. Have you ever noticed that the little blue monster muppet absolutely gets fully involved with his cookie eating? I mean he's tasting, he's throwing crumbs, he's all in!! He is the perfect example of what it is to be mindful.

When you choose to indulge in a cookie- indulge with intention. Notice the texture of the cookie, how does it smell, what is the flavor profile? When you are truly present with your treat you will need fewer of them to satisfy. This is what it means to take action.

Opt out of store bought cookies unless they truly bring you joy, leave the 3 day old leftover cookies in the break room alone, and don't waste energy on the cookies that you aren't tasting anyway because you're engrossed in that end-of-the-year project due next week- all of these situations lead to reacting by trying to cut calories, vowing to hit the gym (which you aren't going to do), or just feeling like crap.

A few cookies each week over the season isn't going to ruin your 2022 progress, and if you're really concerned try scheduling an afternoon walk to move your body after those cookies.

There's no time like right now to have no time

If time is your biggest stressor this season then you need a planner. I mean it, go out to Target buy a new planner (and 4 other things that you don't need) and organize the f*ck out of your December. If you're a digital kind of gal I like Artful Agenda (use code RT417477) the best. Take action- plan a little bit. Just 1 thing.

Overwhelm at this time of year happens because you have way too many things to do and seemingly no time to do it- but what if you did have time? How would that change your whole mindset?

  • Begin by scheduling your sleep- aim for 6 hours when possible and try to go to bed around the same time as often as possible.

  • Next plug in your workout times- don't be all heroic here- just do what you can when you can. 10 minutes for a walk? Cool! 45 minutes for yoga class once- yay! Aim to do something that moves your body at least once a day. If you like yoga videos my absolute favorite yoga site is YouAligned.

  • Finally plan your meal prep. Also not the time to over-extend yourself. Take a realistic look at your schedule, notice the days that you need help and plan for it by prepping ahead, ordering in, or showing up at mom's house uninvited. The point is, know what's going on and trying to be prepared for half of it.

The holiday season doesn't have to derail your efforts, cause you to gain weight, or even throw your GI system into disaster. All you need to do is be a little mindful and I promise it will be ok. You might even start off January with no need for resolutions!

Like what you're reading here? How about joining the Nourished.Mindfully Community- it's a place for women who want to have a better relationship with food to hang out and learn how to be mindful. Best part? It's off social media (and free). There are monthly workshops, challenges, and tons of resources for mindful eating and slow living - plus the occasional cameo of my dogs.

*Some links may contain affiliate links that earn this author a small percentage of your purchase at no additional cost to you.


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