From a health and wellness perspective, this time of year is riddled with guilt and anxiety. A quick Google search provides 53,800 results pertaining to just the term “Holiday Weight Gain.” With that sort of cultural standard, who can enjoy a full serving of mashed potatoes without figuring out the burpee equivalent??? And this isn’t even getting into the stress of buying perfect gifts, making the rounds to keep everyone happy, and getting those coveted few workouts in while you can.
Sigh…. All this stress is enough to make me find a tree and hide away for the next few weeks.
Wait, what? When did the holliest, jolliest time of year become about survival? Is there is a Grinch that finally figured out he doesn’t need to take our stockings, Who-Hash, or Roast Beast?? He’s a Robo-Grinch that finally figured out how to get our Christmas spirit.
Here’s the thing- it doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have to JUST survive. We just don’t have to let the guilt and anxiety get to us. Let’s punch that Grinch in his hairy ol’ face and take back the right to thrive during the holidays.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but there are three huge areas where I start to freak out and stop enjoying life this time of year. I’ve broken down some thoughts to help you mentally be ready for the next several weeks:
Ok. Here is my recommendation on home to manage the guilt and anxiety on this:
Stop stressing, freaking out, or crying about eating off plan on the holidays. If you want some apple pie at the expense of your thigh touching (which, by the way, is ridiculous), eat some darn apple pie. If you want to eat some whipped cream on it, eat some full fat, homemade, fluffy goodness (but try to forgo the fake process junk if at all possible).
Here is the thing- guilt will translate to stress and will wreck your body, metabolism, immune system, sanity, and love for other people.
Side note: this is not a free pass to eat like garbage all the time. This is a free pass to enjoy off plan meals 4-5 times over the course of one week this year. And if you’re looking for some great, high quality, whole food meals (and one cannot even call them cheats they’re so good), check out these.
(And for goodness sake- don’t be THAT person that brings the veggie loaf.)
The holidays are one of my favorite times to move. I don’t usually workout at a gym because I’m on the road and don’t feel like finding a random gym. Holidays are fun because you can get the family together for a game of touch football, a dance party in the toy room, or a stroll through a winter wonderland.
More importantly, this is an opportunity to build memories. I can promise you the little ones won’t remember who gave them the brand new DS game or the Amazon gift card, but they will remember who climbed trees with them and taking the dogs for a walk.
Similar to the comment on food, STOP STRESSING. Stress does not do anyone any good, and will most likely shorten your lifespan (whoa, this just got real).
But seriously, what is so important that’s it’s worth snapping at your friends, family, and spouse? Certainly nothing that has to do with who can give the best gift, bring the best dish, or wear the cutest outfit.
To be honest, this is where I struggle the most (just ask the Husband). I don’t have any cute or whimsical suggestions on how to stop, other than to gut check yourself and realize it needs to be done. And stop it. Seriously. You’re exhausting everyone.