Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

The holiday season often brings about more time for social gatherings and time off from work. The impact this may have on your routine may impact your ability to stick to a balanced diet. Yet being flexible is key to having a positive relationship with food.

Enjoying delicious meals as well as more time with family and friends is good for your mental well-being. Below are a few recommendations from Evolve dietitian, Kristie Simmons, to help you eat mindfully during the holidays (and beyond).

Tips for Mindful Eating During the Holidays

  • Try to intermittently pause and do a body and setting scan. It can be very helpful to check in with how your body is feeling throughout the day. As your setting changes, you can take steps to help you feel more comfortable and at ease. This could look like taking deep breaths, a stretch or having a snack.

 

  • Check in with how you are feeling physically (hungry, full, tired, etc.) and emotionally (stressed, excited, sad, etc.).¬† Rating your hunger level 1-10 and/or naming your emotions is a very helpful way to honor your body’s needs. This will help you avoid getting too hungry or tired and thus not in a good headspace for socializing. Noting your feelings helps to give you data on what you may need to do differently before or what you need to do next if you want to change how you feel.

 

  • Look at what foods are available and try to honor what your mind, body, and soul need in a mindful way. Taking stock of what is in stock at a family member/friend’s home can help you prepare for your meals or snacks in a considerate way. You want to enjoy your meal and some planning ahead of time, even if the food available isn’t entirely in your control, can help you have a better meal experience.

 

  • If food choices are taking up a lot of headspace, see if you can shift your focus to what you want to get out of the holiday experience to defuse from food holding so much importance. Try to list out your values about living a healthy, balanced life and what that truly means. Think about others who inspire you to have a positive relationship with food. Consider what would help you feel great at the end of the day about how you navigated the meal(s).

Self-care Tools

If you find that you are struggling with low mood or anxiety around the holidays, it is important to increase your use of self-care tools to support you. This can include writing in a journal or reading recovery-related books or websites.

Know that you are not alone in feeling increased anxiety, but support and community are out there. It may just take one small step of reaching out to someone or reading a few lines of recovery-oriented book to help you feel grounded.

At the end of the day, try to be flexible and kind with yourself knowing this day and season are temporary. Move away from perfection and towards self-compassion.

Our dietitians are here to support you in finding freedom from disordered eating.

If you’d like support in navigating the holiday season, reach out to us today.