Many stressful factors can contribute to your weight loss struggles during the holidays.
Budget: Don’t put the pressure on yourself to buy more; it can be especially difficult during the holidays. Really evaluate what you are purchasing for the holidays. Are you purchasing unnecessary things or things you can’t afford? Same goes with food, are you adding things to your cart that aren’t really needed or shouldn’t be consumed by anyone in your family? It can be very easy to be overspending this time of year.
Tip #1: One rule of thumb is to use cash. You are more aware of what you are purchasing when you use cash.
Tip #2: Don’t buy what you can’t afford, be creative with your gift giving.
Family: Family and guests can dominate you and your routine during the holidays.
Tip #1: Do not feel obligated to do things with family that you do not want to do. You need to set boundaries and you need to communicate them to your family/friends.
Tip #2: Your routine is very important to your success. Your sleep is very important, don’t be a slave to your guests. You can provide simple breakfasts that don’t require you to get up 2 hours before everyone else. Don’t try to be something you are not. Let go of the need to be perfect. Learn to delegate and take some of the pressure off of yourself.
Tip #3: While busy with guests, don’t skip your meals. Stay on track. Go prepared with snacks on the go so that you are not hungry when shopping or out and about. Don’t use a holiday as an excuse to go off track.
Tip #4: You can also have groceries delivered so it takes a load off of you and your time. It also helps you to not add things to your cart that you don’t need.
Overindulgence: Overindulgence leads to guilt, stress and shame.
Tip #1: Plan what you are eating throughout the day and prepare meals ahead of time.
Tip #2: Be proactive about things you CAN have. Have mindful eating practices.
Tip #3: Remember that food is not your friend, it’s your fuel. Break your ties with food traditions.
Isolation and Loneliness: Holidays are not always a time of celebration for everyone. This time of year can make people feel alone, isolated and can also drudge up sadness for loved ones lost.
Tip #1: Come up with a new hobby you can try out.
Tip #2: Volunteer at a local nonprofit. It can be very rewarding and can build community
Tip #3: If you know this is a tough season for you, tell friends/family and ask them to reach out.
Tip #4: Start new traditions that your missed loved ones would have enjoyed or were passionate about as a way of honoring them.
Tip #5: Remember that food is not your friend, it’s your fuel. Break your ties with food traditions.
Tip #6: Try Meetup.com and join a group doing something fun.
Losses: We can’t change losses. Loss might mean something different for different people. Loss might be the death of a family member/friends/pet, death of a marriage/friendship, loss of health or just a major difficult change in your life.
Tip #1: Honor your loved one by doing something positive
Tip #2: Focus on how to get yourself healthy mentally and physically
Tip #3: It’s very good to give. Volunteer at a local nonprofit or do something special for someone else.
Tip #4: Remove things/people in your life that cause you drama. Surround yourself with people who are positive.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): SAD is depression related to the changes in the season. The symptoms include tiredness, depression, mood changes, irritability, trouble concentrating, body aches, insomnia, decreased interest in activities you normally enjoy and/or overeating.
Tip #1: If you feel that you have some of these symptoms this time of year, you need to reach out to your personal physician or a mental health professional. If you can’t afford a therapist, look into YouTube videos or books to help you. Journaling can also help processing your thoughts.
Tip #2: Have your Vitamin D levels checked and get outside as much as you can. Look into getting light therapy as well.
Tip #3: Exercise.
Don’t Set New Year’s Resolutions: Don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself.
Tip #1: If you want to make a resolution to change something, do it today. Don’t wait until the New Year.
Tip #2: Write down your short term and long-term goals, but make sure they are small and achievable. Don’t set unrealistic resolutions.
Tip #3: There is never going to be a good time to get started with anything; there is no time like the present, but do one mini goal at a time.