Let's face it: Thanksgiving (and the whole holiday season) is challenging for almost everyone, in terms of healthy eating, balance, and taking care of ourselves.
Why do you think we hit New Years hungry for resolutions? We're hungry to come back to ourselves and to come back to our centers after so much cultural and big-business driven pressure to Indulge, Spend and Expend energy (money as well as our personal reserves).
I've been on a non-mainstream, alternative path for quite some time. I'm not interested in what is normal or mainstream - in fact, those things have been what tend to make me (and most of us) sick and stressed.
I am more interested in what is "mystream" or my way of being and operating optimally. Naturally, when we do things according to what we truly need and desire, we feel better all around. We're more healthy, happy and we make better choices for ourselves.
Seven Ways to Feel & Eat Better (More Relaxed &True to YOU) This Thanksgiving & Holiday Season:
- Remember: This is a holiday. Family (& all associated stresses) are around. We have a lot to do, including our regular lives. Many of us travel. The food is amazing and too much. The social and cultural programming say "It's only once [sic] a year! Indulge!" Realize you are human. Don't set up unreal expectations. And don't just throw it all to the wind, later feeling huge, stuffed and like total garbage either. The repercussions of doing that reverberate into all kinds of personal guilt, shame and beating ourselves up.
- Be grateful. It's the Giving of Thanks Day! Gratitude elevates our mood, mindset and energetic vibration (yes, they can actually measure this with machines now!), releases feel-good, calming hormones and brings you back into the present moment, out of all the other thoughts in your mind. Write down 3 things you are grateful for first thing in the morning, before you go to see anyone else or check your phone, and/or right before bed.
- DO set an intention and write it down. The written word is taken more seriously, even by our own subconscious. How do you want to feel? What do you want to eat? What do you want to enjoy? How do you want to be more yourself this Thanksgiving and holiday season?
- Find someone else who's at dinner who has similar intentions and buddy up with them. Social support is HUGE.
- Get connected with your body. The day before AND the day of. Make time for a yoga or spin class (bring a family member, everyone seems to want to feel healthier these days). Go for a long morning or suggest an after-dinner walk. Breathe fresh air. FEEL your stomach. Ask it if and what it's hungry for.
- Savor. Make a commitment to be more mindful and to really slow down and enjoy what you are eating. Fully chew and swallow each bite before taking the next. When you're in conversation, pause eating and just be with the other person. There will be plenty of time to eat... it's Thanksgiving. And when you're eating, be with the amazing deliciousness of your food. Get out of your head and enjoy the bounty, after all! Use good judgment with what and how much you eat, but eat what you really want.
- Have compassion for yourself. Every day is a fresh day. We all (even when we've done a lot of inner work) seem to expect/dream/hope, in some facet of ourselves, that we'll do it perfect this time. Let that go. You're not perfect. And that's perfect, beautiful and real. Thanks for being you.