With the holidays coming up, most people are in a heightened state of anxiety (ask anyone working in the service industry, and they can confirm this). Whether it’s because of family, finances or food (what I call the three holiday F’s), people are stressed now more than usual. I’m right there with them. I have decided to make this the first year in which I address these stressors, and I’m hoping to do so without completely derailing myself emotionally or physically. My first step is to ask a somewhat basic but altogether essential question: What are some of the things that we can do to tackle the dreaded F’s, before things get out of control?
The holidays often come with increased family togetherness. Don’t get me wrong; I lucked out and have a wonderful family. However, even if we get along great with our families, we still have to coordinate schedules between our immediate families, extended families, and our in-laws (not to mention finding time for friends as well). Just scheduling these gatherings are stressful enough for most, but there are also those that simply don’t get along with their families. Things can get hostile. Innocent conversations around the dinner table can lead to heated arguments and a longing for your own home and your pajamas by 6:00 PM. Trust me I get it. I may have a great and loving family, but I also have mental illnesses that require me to have alone time. My alone time is how I recharge and hit the restart button.
The key to tackling this stressor is to know yourself and how you recharge. It is so important to take the time to do this during this time of year and especially when at gatherings. For example, when I visit my parents who still live in the same house I grew up in, I take 10 minutes to lock myself in my old bedroom so that it’s just me JT in my headphones, and my Teen Bop posters that are still on the wall. If that’s not your thing, there are free apps available for guided meditation that can help you find your re-centering groove.
The holidays are also expensive. With every gift exchange, our pockets get emptier. Come January, we’ll be sitting with our empty pockets and a house full of things we didn’t need in the first place. At this time last year, I was deep in the stress of finances because I was still paying off medical bills from the birth of my child. Don’t get me wrong I still have debt and I’m still stressed about it. However, I now have a goal and a plan to help me with my financial woes. Seeing an end in sight helps me to stay strong during these stressful months. Luckily, I found a great community of supportive people who are helping me get where I need to be. Feel free to message me to see what I’m doing to help with finances.
Then, there’s food… For me, this is the ultimate stressor that pokes its head out this time of year. As someone who has struggled with my relationship to food all my life, this time of year puts me in a dark place. I have spent a large part of my life contemplating every food I choose to put in my mouth. I have been on all sorts of diets and my weight has been all over the board. The holidays are the worst for me because I have an insatiable craving for sweets. I love all kinds of pastries, cookies, cakes, candy, — whatever I can get my hands on. I know that this is a major struggle for many people this time of year. I have learned that having a good support system is extremely important.
With the help of my wellness community, I have learned of some great products that are making life a little easier for me. With the help of clean eating and my GC Control Shakes every morning, my cravings are becoming increasingly more manageable. I also take my Peak Performance Vitamins every morning and evening and have learned the importance of substitutions. If I am craving something sweet, I try to swap out healthy options. And you know what? Some days, I just go for it. Thanksgiving Day is about being thankful for what you have and I’m thankful for pie. I had already created this healthy food relationship regimen weeks before the actual Turkey Day arrived so I survived this year with minimal damage to my body by simply continuing to follow it.
By finding time for myself, initiating some financial planning, and with a little help from a daily routine of healthy living, I am ready to take the three Holiday F’s by the horns. I now realize my overall wellness isn’t just about my physical wellness. As a result, this coming year I feel prepared to tackle my problems head on and live life to the fullest! 2018 was hard for me…really hard. However, 2019 doesn’t have to be. I’m not going to let the holidays derail the progress I have already made. I’m going to head into 2019 with a new and improved version of myself. Here’s to the coming year!
— Guest blogger, Tanya Neary, blogs at Weight Loss for a Fat Girl and shares her struggles and successes along her journey.