Christmas is a comin’! You can hear that and feel like a 6 year old again watching the coca-cola advert on TV! Or, you might feel your stomach clench and a whole wall of negative, self-directed emotions take the stage in your mind. We are putting a stop to that! Today!
This time of year can be absolute turmoil. Women struggle to be kind to themselves and have so many negative thoughts about food choices, less exercise, social gatherings (or lack of this year) and late nights watching TV and the like. But let’s get this straight from the beginning, this time of year, routines aren’t as easy to stick to!
I really believe that to survive the Holiday season, and by survive I mean, soak up all of the joy, indulge yourself without the mental whips and jump into the New Year feeling alive and excited comes down to three things;
Mindfulness, around your choices.
Expectations, what are yours for the month?
Goals, how do you want to feel going into 2021?
Mindfulness is an interesting term that I feel gets thrown around a lot. Basically, being mindful around food is just thinking about what we eat, why we eat it.
I am not going to sit here and tell you that during December you SHOULD stick to kale salads and healthy energy balls when mince pies, gingerbread cookies and chocolate treats are staring at you in every single shop you enter!
BUT Neither will I say you SHOULD eat all of the goodies all day long.
What I SHOULD rather do is ask you;
WHAT do you want to eat? Do you want a mince pie?
WHY do you want it? Is it because it is right there in front of you? Or are you desperate for something sweet?
HOW will eating that mince pie make you feel? Will you enjoy it but then be ridden with guilt? Or will you be able to enjoy it and eliminate all of the negative thoughts.
Christmas cravings. Oh they're a beast.
You see in the shops or at work or well, anywhere you go really a whole host of goodies.When you see them, how do you feel? For me there is a huge nostalgic feeling. It feels cosy and warm and lovely.
I remember my grandparents having an enormous pantry FULL of goodies from Christmas hampers and my grandad would always get something out for us all to enjoy with a cup of tea. Chat and socialize. Such lovely memories for me.
What feelings get brought up for you around these foods or this time of year? Could that be why you are craving them?
Or maybe it comes back to needing something sweet because you’re tired, lacking energy.These are amongst the top reasons why we ‘crave’.
Ask yourself why you are having this craving and be kind to yourself, there is a reason your body is asking for it. Emotional or physical. Honour and acknowledge this sign from your body.
And then choose how you want to move forwards. If you want to have something sweet, because it will have a positive emotional response right in that moment, have it!
And this is where the guilt comes in. Look at the bigger picture. If you are happy to indulge a little, make it a conscious choice, not because it is simply sitting there and you eat it ‘just because’ be mindful, enjoy it, savour the time of year.
You can always try challenging yourself to make healthy alternatives. Raw Ferrero Rocher balls, delicious and nutrient dense. Cranberry and pistachio oat biscuits, gift them to your friends or family, keep them lying around so you have a healthy alternative.
Expectations taken head on with two very straight forward questions. (Ok they're deep, but they need answering!)
What do you want this month to feel like?
What are your expectations around this time of year? For example, are your holding onto certain expectations of feelings and emotions of yourself, others?
Getting clear on all of these will help you understand why you feel like you do, when you do!
Goals are so powerful. They have the power to uplight, motivate and inspire us. Or just be a great big stick.
How does December set you up for January, how does January set you up for February. What are you striving to achieve?
How do you want to go in January? How did you feel last year? What do you want to be different?
The common one is, I put on some pounds and I need to go on a strict diet in January. Is that what you want to do? If not, how can you change your habits now to set up the coming year?
I can’t give you all the answers on what you should do, how to eat and when and how you should feel about it. All of that has to come from you! What do you want to eat, how do you want to feel, why do you feel guilty and what are your expectations around that? Really get clear on your answers here. And I am sure you will enjoy the season a lot more.
The Holiday Season can be a little bitter sweet, but carve out some time to think about all of the questions I’ve asked you today and try to understand yourself a little more. Be mindful. And again, remember you are totally in control of your choices.
Happy December 1st gorgeous,
Love Kirsty xx
I’m Kirsty Strandberg, the founder of Got Vitality and a Health coach for mum’s. My mission is really to help mums find balance in their life after having children. There are so many challenges and changes that are overwhelming andI've found there just isn't enough information out there in the world on managing mental health and the whole wall of emotions that come with taking care of another human being. So I want to be that source of information and support on this wild ride! Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a little support right now xx