By:  Denisa Larreau, LMHP

  1. Not all portions are created equal.  Just because someone is in charge of cutting up the portions or dishing the plates, does not mean you have to have the same as everyone else in the room.  Take what feels right for you and don’t look back.
  2. Just eat a slice of the pie.  There are always a ton of sweets and goodies around during this time of year.  For those trying to actively avoid their temptations, those thoughts and urges towards wanting that chocolate (or whatever the sweet tooth is craving) will most likely only increase. Which could lead to possibly indulging more than originally planned.  Allowing yourself to have what you want, will help avoid those constant thoughts and/or going overboard later.
  3. Take your plate to the most comfortable chair in the house.  Typically holiday celebrations can guarantee an abundance of options.  If you struggle with “grazing” and end up feeling overly full, plan to create a plate of the snacks that are calling your name.  Take your plate that looks satisfying to a place you can eat mindfully, and enjoy each one of the options you hand-picked.
  4. Have a game plan.  What do you actually want to eat?  Just because traditions will ensue does not mean you have to abide by all holiday laws.  J Think ahead before going into the meal, and have a plan for what sounds satisfying.  Do your best to avoid feeling pressure, or the perceived judgement coming from loved ones.  This is a celebration, feel free to eat what you actually want.
  5. Bring your own deliciousness to share.  If you have a game plan, as previously mentioned, you might know ahead of time what is on the menu.  If you are not the biggest fan of those family recipes passed down from generation to generation, spice it up a bit.  Volunteer to bring your own dish that you love and are excited to have on this special day.
  6. Know your environment.  Whether you are going to grandma’s house, the neighbor’s, a friend group, or any other party that might arise, try to be mindful of the stressors and triggers that might be present.  Know your audience, and bring your best coping strategies along for the ride.
  7. Give yourself an out.  Along with the fun and celebrations during this time, there is also typically a point where you have had enough.  Set your boundaries ahead of time, and know when it is your time to exit.  If you feel the need for a little accountability, share your plan with a few strong supports to help you step away from the party.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little “me time” during the holidays and unwinding with a book at home.