I love the holidays. I’m the nut who already started watching Christmas movies, playing Nat King Cole and there may even be some newly purchased Target holiday decorations displayed in our house because I just HAD to show my husband how cute they were (he cares).
With Thanksgiving fast approaching I am trying to get really present in my mind, body and spirit so that I can go into these treasured times and not be so caught up in my head about non sense that the whole time flies by and I find myself on the drive back to Charleston feeling like I missed out on something.
Let’s do a little NO BS talk about the holidays. They are AWESOME and can also be SO STRESSFUL if you don’t maintain your self care rituals, create serious boundaries and have the right mindset.
We all love the sh*t out of our family and friends AND this time of year can pull you in a million directions, put a lot emphasis on exterior and superficial things, not to mention, bringing a lot of people and personalities into the same space for extended periods of time which can trigger some unwanted behaviors within ourselves. Does diving head first into your favorite coping mechanism (food, booze, etc), retreating, snapping or quite literally losing your shit sound familiar?
Also important is for me to own and acknowledge that this is personally also one of the HARDEST times of the year for me when it comes to body image, self love and acceptance within myself. For one, I live in SC and only get to see my closest family and friends a handful of times a year. So I do this wonderful thing of putting a TON of pressure on myself to look and be a certain way before those trips. And then there are all the holiday parties and events, which I am grateful for (truly), but I stress an unhealthily amount over who will be there, what I will wear and what I will look like.
All those shitty internal dialogues creep in and if I don’t catch them they can do some real damage and the opposite of what I am hoping for them to do. I guess on some f-ed up level I’m hoping they will be the tough love, motivation and swift kick in the ass to get me in shape, but what ends up happening is I start thinking there isn’t enough time, I’ll never look good, I compare myself to all the people I love in my life and I start getting social anxiety which is not me AT ALL.
The negative self talk goes from being motivational to being the very thing that pushes me off the edge to a downward spiral of crappy comfort zones leaving me in a really terrible space before I go into one my favorite times of the year.
It’s actually crazy describing how my mind and actions work, but I have been to enough Weight Watcher meetings, had enough honest conversations with friends/family and have shared openly enough in our well-being community to know that I am not alone on this. Not to mention that studies are now proving that holiday weight is real and starts as early as October and goes until 10 days after Christmas.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend almost 3 months, stuffing my stress, feelings, insecurities and body image issues into my face.
I want to find a way to love my body exactly as it is RIGHT now,.
I want to be grateful for the ability to nourish it with clean real food.
I want to honor my physical ability to move and be proud of the inner strength I am building.
And I want to work the HELL out of mind muscle so that I am grateful, present and full of love for myself and the people around me.
So what am I going to do about it?
I have decided and committed to:
Taking this holiday season one day at a time, one moment at a time, one choice at a time.
Going for progress not perfection.
Working personal development daily.
Participating in the well-being community EVERY.DAMN.DAY (i.e. eating clean, drinking superfoods and moving daily).
Leaning on others in the community for support during the tougher times (because there will be harder moments, that's what the community is there for and asking for help is a sign of strength NOT weakness).
And to enjoying the HELL out of holidays! I picked 4 really special meals that I want savor without any guilt and with every ounce of confidence and self love that I have.
No matter what your self care and self love rituals are, recommit to them right now. Right here in this moment make the decision. Because you need them always and especially this time of year. Your presence, contentment and confidence will be the greatest gift you can give to your family and yourself.