What contributes to overeating during the holidays? Stress, financial anxieties, saying yes when you want to say no, too many obligations, and/or _______________ (fill in the blank with whatever sends you to the food).
So we’re going the non-traditional route this year with some not-your-average holiday tips 🙂
Hopefully these will help cut down on stress, which in turn, helps us stay away from the food!
1. Buy Experiences vs Physical Gifts (or Better Yet, Don’t Buy at All!)
I am always amazed at how much STUFF we have.
That was one thing I noticed when I was in Poland. A lot less “stuff”.
We have garages, houses, apartments and junk drawers filled with an insane amount of things.
Most of us don’t need any more “stuff”.
What’s more valuable than buying physical gifts?
Experiences & quality time.
If you are buying gifts, forgo more “stuff” and consider getting an experience instead!
- Museum passes
- Concert tickets
- Comedy shows
- Murder Mystery Dinner
- Escape Room (or even a virtual one)
- A weekend away
- Some kind of class (cooking, dance, craft, etc)
Another alternative is to consider not buying gifts at all.
Spending a ton of money can be stressful (and stress can lead to food).
I get anxious spending a ton of money over the holidays (people budget for this season, but I don’t), so I’ve decided I’m not buying my nieces and nephews gifts.
They have SO many toys and things and I don’t feel inspired to get them more.
Down the line, I may do experiences, but this season, financially I’ve decided it’s a better decision.
Reflection: what is the LEAST stressful for you? To buy or not to buy?
2. Say No to (Almost) Everything
Tis the season of a million obligations.
What if it looked different this year and we said no to (almost) everything?
What a radical idea 🙂
Here are the things I want to say no to but feel like I “should” say yes to:
- A friend’s holiday party that starts super late (I go to bed EARLY, yes even on Fridays 🙂 )
- Buying gifts for my 7 nieces and nephews (see #1)
- A Secret Santa exchange at the gym
- A neighorhood cookie exchange
- Seeing 100 relatives when I’m home visiting my family
And most people have more: kids parties, friends gatherings, work socials, etc.
How crazy would it be if we said NO to (almost) everything?!
What kind of time would that free you up to recalibrate?
Take a look at your calendar between now and January 1st.
Are there things in there that overwhelm you? Where can you say no?
(Pssst, I wanna hear them! We can all say no together 🙂 )
3. Say Yes to Something YOU Want
The holiday season often gets wrapped up in to-do’s for other people: scrambling for last minute gifts, baking cookies for a neighbor’s cookie exchange, running ourselves ragged, and getting roped into doing all the things we don’t want to do (see #2).
So to counteract that: what is something YOU want this holiday season?
What if you said no to something you felt like was an obligation and yes to something YOU wanted to do?
Another radical idea in the season of giving 🙂
Whether it’s a quiet night at home, wearing sweats instead of dressing up, reading a book rather than a night out, picking the movie you want to watch, or whatever else it is that sounds delightful, choose it!
4. Have Dessert When You Are By Yourself
I still do this one every year.
I get overwhelmed by the amount of holiday desserts at my Christmas and Christmas Eve family party, so I have a gentle guideline for myself:
I choose what I (think) I want, put it on a plate or in a Tupperware, and eat it by myself, later.
This might sound weird (because if you read my blog, you know I’m not big on “rules”, especially when it comes to food).
But holidays with my family are insanely loud, there is endless chaos, lots of people and well…it can be a lot.
For me, it’s a harder environment to make rational food choices.
So I take out the choice/food battle and do it later by myself.
That way, I can actually enjoy the dessert in a quiet atmosphere, and I’m not eating out of stress or in a hurry.
Try it if it resonates with you or put your own spin on it 🙂
5. Plan a Non-Tech Hour/Afternoon/Day
This is becoming increasingly harder for me.
But I notice I am much more sane when I disconnect more.
I also notice I’m less “antsy” (angsty) when I’ve overcome the urge to check/be on my phone.
One of the keys on this food path is to learn how to listen to your own self (your body, your signals, your wisdom).
I’m convinced that the more we use tech, the more of a disconnect we have with our own intuition.
We’re always drawn outward, externally stimulated and never allow space or time to listen to what’s inside.
Planning an hour/afternoon/day of no tech is a wonderful way to decompress and open up space to hear YOU.
So which one resonates with you? I’d love to hear 🙂