Welcome to the third and final installment of my recent blog series, Busting Holiday Stress For Busy People. Last week we talked about a radical idea — not finishing your to-do list before Thanksgiving…how could that help with managing holiday overwhelm? Read more to find out! The first post in the series offered ideas for getting out of that rut you’re in and re-vitalizing your career in 2016 — something we could all benefit from!
Today I touch on a topic that my clients commonly discuss as one of the biggest anxiety producers during the holiday season — when co-workers bring in baked goods and treats to the office on a regular basis. Are you wondering how to have a healthy balance with this without being triggered into “rules” and “all/nothing thinking”? Read on to find out more…(and share if it’s helpful!)
How to Not Go Crazy When Your Co-Workers Bring in Holiday Treats AGAIN!
5 Ways to Navigate Eating During the Holidays Without Feeling Out of Control
- Forget your New Year’s resolution. The #1 New Year’s
resolution is to lose weight. This triggers big helpings of self-sabotage with food from Halloween to New Year’s Day. Going into the holidays with a plan to lose weight in the New Year raises the risk of “the last supper” mentality around eating until then. All or nothing thinking might cause you to binge eat on coffee cake that your co-worker made at home instead of have just a bit because you “won’t be able to have it after January 1”. Try to come up with New Year’s resolutions that are not about weight but are about health of your mind as well as of your body.
- Take a bite of that decadent chocolate cake in the break room. Ask yourself: do you like it? How does your body respond to it? When we allow ourselves some of everything that we enjoy, then we don’t feel deprived. Allowing yourself to try whatever you want to will prevent getting stuck in the all/nothing cycle (that diets feed off of) and increase your chances of truly enjoying what you’re eating, listening to your body and finding more balance.
- Make sure you eat breakfast. Coming to work hungry sets you up to eat mindlessly and more than your body really needs. When you have a fulfilling breakfast, your brain gets enough healthy fats to focus on what it needs to, allowing you to try what you want in the break room without feeling desperate for nourishment and perhaps overeating on empty calories. This is also true for the end-of-the year potluck. Don’t go in starving and have a game plan.
- Bake your own treat to bring into the office. Create something at home that you would like to share with your co-workers that is delicious and satisfying. When you are a part of the process of creating and serving food, you can establish a new relationship with it – based on love, not fear.
- Set boundaries. If you truly desire to stay out of the break-room because you worry about overeating on food you don’t actually want to eat, then be clear about your intentions with your co-workers (and yourself). You don’t have to explain why or go into elaborate detail. Bring your own lunch and stay clear of temptations. If others have a problem with it, stand firm with your boundaries. It’s more likely their problem than yours at that point.
6. Monitor Your Burn-Out. Do you typically get burned out and exhausted by the end of the week (or end of the month, or right before a holiday)? Is this a pattern? Define what triggers your feelings of burn out and when they most commonly occur. Those are the periods where you are more susceptible to mindless activities — such as eating all of the brownies on a Friday when you’re not even hungry. Try to plan in advance how you will manage burn-out effectively so that you don’t find yourself in a weekly mindless eating routine that can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness. This might mean going for a walk on Fridays during lunchtime or having a check-in buddy that you spend time with each Thursday afternoon.
Want to download your own free copy of this list to share around? Find it here under Free TipSheets!
What would you add? How do YOU find balance around food during the holiday season?