The end of the year can be so exhilarating. jam packed with exciting events, Christmas shopping and catching up with friends and family that you might not have seen during the lockdown period.
Sometimes this can feel slightly overwhelming. You might have a long list of things to do in your head and you rushing around doing last minute shopping or packing madly for traveling if you are going away.
It’s only natural to reach for food in those situations. At the end of the year, most of us are stressed out especially this year after our long periods of lockdown. It’s only natural that we want to distract ourselves with food for find comfort in a tub of ice cream.
If your goal this season is to enjoy food and celebrations without the guilt, shame and regret on the second of January. Then here are some tips to help you navigate emotional eating this Christmas.
Take frequent mini breaks
As exciting as this period is , you might be facing many deadlines at work or even getting that last minute Secret Santa gift. Make sure to go out and get some fresh air this will give you time to just decompress how you feel, vent if you’re upset or just take that mini mental break away from the chaos.
Connect with people not food
It can be tempting to gather around the food table and socialize while munching mindlessly on your favourite Christmas treats. Focus on connecting more purposefully with the people around you instead of mindlessly eating.
Take deep breaths in between bites and go find someone you haven’t spoken to for a while. If I showed up at a party hungry, I would struggle to focus on anything else but the food table, I have learn to never show up at an event hungry. Make this time about connections instead of the food
Make time to exercise
Usually when we get busy in the festive season, we tend to let go of the things that really support us such as exercise or mindfulness tools such as meditation. These are the things that support us the most but they are first out the window when we have too much on our plate. Unfortunately can lead to more stress which result in cravings and emotional eating.
Make a conscious effort to get out more every day. Do something fun. Spend time in nature. So that you can clear out your head and also just let go of some of the stressors you’ve experienced over the year.
This will allow you to notice how you feel emotionally and make better choices when it comes to food.
Prioritize self-care and managing your stress.
It’s easy to balance the external world the people the food the party. But the real underlying issues with stress the lack of awareness in our bodies, our emotions and our body’s ability to deal with them.
It’s important to manage your stress and take some time for self-care. Self-Care doesn’t have to take hours it can be as short as a mindful tea break, a gentle walk outside or two minute breath exercise.
Practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating helps to bring the awareness around food so we feel more satisfied with our meals. We are also able to check that we are not overstepping our fullness. Take time to notice whether you are hungry before eating, chew slowly and take breaks in between bites so that you can taste every flavour.
Engage your senses. Look at the food the colours, the textures the smells. And gently enjoy the meal as a sensory experience instead of rushing it or eating with distraction.
Emotional eating can be avoided during this busy time. It just takes a little bit of awareness and a little bit of “me” time. Give yourself this gift this Christmas by investing in self-care, your mind and body will thank you.
PS. My food and mood journal is the perfect tool to help you tune into the signals your body is sending you. By tracking what you eat and drink, it will help give you insight into how food affects your moods.
It’s an 8-week kick-start to mindful eating to help you identify the triggers that make you want to eat when you are not physically hungry.
It also makes a beautiful gift for anyone who feels out of control with food
Get your copy here