Avoiding holiday stress and emotional eating: slow down

This busy season, I’m sharing simple habit-building tips for staying in touch with the spirit of the holidays and avoiding overwhelm, stress, and emotional eating. Create these habits and routines now, and you’ll also be building a strong foundation for your year ahead.


Lower stress and reduce emotional eating: be present

How much of your life do you spend operating (and eating) on autopilot? In a world that encourages us to be constantly plugged in and doing three things at once, slowing down enough to be present can be a challenge – but it’s a skill that is essential to taking control of emotional eating and stress.

Being present and centered allows us to make choices and to plan and be deliberate.

Being present is what allows us to carefully examine the appetizer tray and decide whether we are hungry and what really looks good. When we’re stressed or in a rush, we skip that step. Without thinking our hand reaches out, we fill our plate with food, eat it (all) without really tasting, don’t register much about the taste, and don’t even think about whether we’re still hungry or whether we’re full until much later.

Avoiding holiday stress and emotional eating – your challenge:

This season, I challenge you to practice slowing down and being present. Make a ritual out of taking five minutes every morning  to be present with yourself and to notice.

  1. Notice what’s on your mind. Each day, write down 1 – 3 things that you could do that would relieve the most pressure on your to-do list and set your goal to get those things accomplished.
  2. Notice how you are feeling. Are you tired? Sluggish? Excited? If you notice something that could be improved with self-care (such as noticing that you aren’t getting enough sleep or activity), make a plan to start to remedy the situation. This probably isn’t the time to undertake a major life transformation, but you can set the intention of taking a brisk walk on your lunch hour or getting to bed thirty minutes earlier.

Slow down to reduce emotional eating, overeating, and stress

Too often, if we don’t recognize our need for self-care and if we don’t give ourselves permission to slow down, we’ll resort to food and overeating to fill in the gaps or dampen down the stress or comfort us when we’re tired. Being pro-active by allowing yourself some consistent time to slow down and take stock will help you take control of stressful situations and minimize emotional eating.

Take good care,

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