- Commit to a 30-minute ritual each day that gives all your senses a break. Lower the lights and burn an aromatic candle, take a warm bath, lie down or play a 30 minute guided meditation; do it alone and stick to it religiously.
2. Schedule exercise appointments in writing each week. If you don’t write it down, you won’t do it. So each Sunday before the new week begins, write. Commit to 3 days and use a buddy to help you stick to it.
3. Take two nights per week off from socializing. Stay at home, eat salad, whole grain bread and lean protein. Then read a book which moves your spirit. I love “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.
4. Make a budget and stick to it. Overspending will only increase your stress come January.
5. Be careful of codependent traps; remember “no” is a complete answer. A rule of thumb I follow is: If I feel worse about myself after spending time with someone, I choose to no longer spend time with them, period. Sometimes this means switching chairs at a function.
6. No skipping meals. Always eat normally on the day of a party. Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off your appetite and empower a bit of restraint. This will help you to choose mindfully.
7. Check it out. First things first. When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. Find someone with whom you feel comfortable so you can relax, get comfortable and grounded. Most of us eat mindlessly to deal with the stress of a social gathering.
8. Be mindful of your choices: If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, Go ahead and indulge in your personal holiday favorites, then find a seat and, slowly and mindfully, savour every mouthful.
9. Add fun and games to parties you give. Think sledding, ice skating, or building snowmen. Indoors, try a spirited game of charades or try a new board game like Curses, Cards Against Humanity, or Smart A**. Taking the focus off food will help you stick to your healthy eating plan.
10. Alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories, especially holiday favorites like eggnog. Cut your alcohol calories in half by alternating water or seltzer between alcoholic beverages.