5 Simple Tips for Handling the Holidays, Sans Stress, but with Joy

Thanksgiving ushers in the holiday season in a big way. I think some of us may be shocked, when we realize on the third day after Thanksgiving – it’s December! Just the thought of it may even be stressing you out right now. As they say, “Stay Calm, Carry On”. A little bit of mindfulness can get you through the season, without weight gain, and with joy.

  • It may sound so simple: “Think about what you are eating”, but a little bit of thought and planning, goes a long way. Start with a healthy grocery list (don’t shop hungry!), and plan your breakfast, lunch and dinner, at the beginning of each day, or the day before. Keep a journal for a few days early in December to stay mindful. Eat what you truly enjoy, and savor each bite. Don’t waste your time and calories on foods that you don’t love. Your hostess will be pleased if you rave over the goodies you love, and won’t notice if you pass by others. Sometimes, it may be polite to have “just a taste”, and leave it at that. Of course, keep portion size in mind at all times. Large portions of healthy foods can be an issue as well.
  • Take more walks. Exercise is a natural antidepressant and mood-booster. Of course it also helps keep weight in check. Get outside when you can; nothing beats fresh air.
  • Add fruits and veggiesto every buffet or cocktail party. It’s so simple to put orange slices, apples or pear slices onto a pretty platter, and let guests help themselves. As an option

    to crackers, offer sliced celery, green and red bell peppers placed in a festive bowl next to the hummus or sour-cream-based dip.

  • Give to charity. If you find yourself with just too many leftover cookies, or food gift items that you know you can’t possibly consume, consider donating them to a local charity who would be thrilled to get such a treat. Give leftover pantry items to your local food bank or church food drive.
  • Dine out wisely. If you worked hard this year losing weight, then you sure want to maintain all of your hard work! You know how you did it (half portions, used lower fat items, ate more veggies, moved your body more), so keep it up! If you go overboard for one meal, then reduce at the next. Find out how many calories are in the choices at your favorite restaurants.

Have a wonderful holiday season, filled with gratitude!

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