The holiday season can be stressful, which is especially true if you struggle with food and body image. Lack of routine, family obligations, and holiday meals can all challenge intuitive eating practices. But a few coping strategies can make a BIG difference. We’ve put together our most effective coping strategies here to see you through this season. You got this! Happy Holidays from Dr. Daisy & Co.!
Honor Your Body. Wear comfortable clothes you like and fit well to honor where your body is right now. Lacking clothes to wear? Buy some new pieces you’re excited about – it makes a big difference. Not sure where to shop? Try Old Navy, Aerie from American Eagle, Target, and ModCloth among a list of stores that offer stylish clothes for all bodies.
On Your Own. Create a daily plan to spend free time in a way that helps you re-set. Journaling, crafting, reading, puzzles, trip planning, Sudoku, quiet walks, or phone calls to your support network (friends or family members who ‘get it’) are some examples of ways to enjoy your own time.
Let It Go. Eat more than you intended to? Let it go. Don’t dwell on any meal or try to compensate by skimping on future meals or over-exercising. Attempts to compensate can trigger a cycle of reactionary behaviors -- over-eat, compensate, over-eat, and repeat. Instead, see if you can notice when your body returns to feeling hungry again and choose to honor that hunger.
Intentionally Eat Regular Meals and Snacks. Regular meals and snacks will keep you nourished and fueled. Regular nutrition will also provide routine and a sense of calm and order, even if the timing and the food is different than usual.
Deep Breathe. Try square breathing. Inhale and count to 4, retain your breath for 4, and exhale slowly for a count of 4. If holding your breath is uncomfortable try counting to 4 more quickly, shortening the time. Notice your face, neck, and shoulder muscles relax as you exhale.
Ask yourself kind questions. The best way to re-center when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed is to do a self-check-in and ask yourself helpful, kind questions. Ask yourself, “How am I doing?”, “What do I need right now?”, “What would I like to do now?” Pretend like you’re asking a friend, but it’s you.
You Are Enough. Although holiday time may be a bit overwhelming, know that you are enough. Recite this statement when you need a boost: “I am enough. I am just right, just as I am.”