Each December, it is common behaviour for many of us to over-commit ourselves and take on a ton of extras, despite the fact that we know these well-meaning additions to our already jam-packed schedules are likely to cause us (at least a degree of) unwanted stress. Equally common is the habit of trying to mitigate the inevitable exhaustion that accompanies this with caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and/or sugary treats.
So, how do we avoid “stress eating” our way through the holidays?
It’s okay to say no.
Learning to say “no” to additional seasonal commitments (or anything else in life that isn’t in alignment with your goals) doesn’t make you a weak or bad person. In fact, it shows others that you are listening to yourself, taking stock, and honouring your own values and/or limitations. It also shows them that you are invested in taking care of yourself by keeping your schedule in-check.
Think of it this way: if you are able to maintain a reasonable, doable schedule throughout the holidays, you are less likely to experience elevated levels of stress, and therefore more likely to stick to a regular, sensible eating pattern.
More personal time allows you the room you need to plan ahead for meals, get proper rest and relaxation, welcome balance, make healthier choices, and actually enjoy this time of year.