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How to Handle Anxiety Around Food During The Holidays

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

While it is a beautiful time of year filled with family gatherings and Friendsgivings, this celebration can also invoke stress, anxiety, and a sense of overwhelm. If you have struggled with an eating disorder, being around so much food all at once can be really triggering. The fear of what is to come can be all consuming.

If you have not personally struggled with your relationship with food, it’s important to be aware that someone around you may have and to be mindful about your conversations and comments.

It has become normalized to eat to the point of feeling uncomfortable at your Thanksgiving meal, but that doesn’t have to be the case. I want to share my TOP 10 TIPS that can help reduce your anxiety and stress during your Thanksgiving meals, and the day as a whole. TOP 10 TIPS 1. MORNING MEDITATION / MINDFULNESS - Connect with yourself. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, feel into your body, quiet your mind. Visualize how you want the day to go. Who do you want to talk to; what do you want to contribute to the conversation; how do you want to feel; what are you wearing? Here is a meditation that can support you. 2. SET AN INTENTION FOR THE DAY - Direct your energy to: what do you want to get out of the day? For example, my intention is to feel connected with the people around me, feel confident in my own skin, feel grateful and loved. 3. EXPRESS GRATITUDE - Start your morning with gratitude. This puts you in a positive headspace that you can carry throughout the day: I am grateful for the food I will eat today. I am grateful to have family and friends to gather with. I am grateful for a roof over my head. 4. EAT BREAKFAST - Eat a nourishing and balanced breakfast so you aren’t starving and ravenous going into your Thanksgiving meal. You will be less likely to overeat, can feel more in control around the food, and can make more intentional food choices. 5. COOK A SIDE DISH - Get creative and make a dish you know you will enjoy that has nourishing ingredients. This doesn’t mean only eat what you bring. This is a way to contribute to the gathering and enjoy all foods. 6. FOCUS ON CONNECTION - Who have you not seen in awhile that you want to have a real conversation with? Get curious about what is going on in other people's lives. Ask questions. See if you can do something to help the host so you have a positive purpose and influence, which will also help the host reduce their stress and anxiety. 7. GO FOR A WALK - Plan to go for a walk with one of your friends or family members after the meal. Walking outside is a great way to refresh yourself, have some personal time to really connect, while also gently moving your body and aiding digestion. 8. CHEW YOUR FOOD - Be mindful and present while you are eating. Thoroughly chew, savor the flavors, and enjoy each bite of your food. Take a couple deep breaths and really check in on your fullness queues before going to get another plate. 9. IF YOU OVEREAT - Step outside or go to a quiet room to do some deep breathing. Take inventory on how you were feeling at dinner: lonely, sad, anxious, misunderstood, resentful, frustrated, out of control, whatever it may be. Do some deep breathing to signal to your body that you are safe. Take time later to allow yourself to truly become aware of what was going on in your heart and in your head at the time, and if there was a certain trigger you can pinpoint. Really explore, feel those feelings, and try to gain an understanding and bring awareness. 10. SHOW YOURSELF LOVE AND COMPASSION - It’s okay if you overeat. You brought awareness to what you were feeling and allowed yourself to feel it. Now, do some deep breathing and show yourself the love, compassion and understanding that you would give to someone you love. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Acknowledge how you feel, give yourself love, and move on. Remember, one day does not ruin all the progress you have made. You have come so far. I'm always a resource if you need someone to talk to. Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes:

Sending you love and Happy Thanksgiving.

If you’re struggling with your relationship with food, your body and yourself, I have a program that was made just for you. It’s everything I wish I had when I was in the depths of my eating disorder. “The Ultimate Health Transformation Program” is a 3-month program designed to support you in the most radical and fulfilling transformation of your LIFE. It will transform your relationship with food, your body, and most importantly - your SELF. You don’t have to struggle alone anymore. I’ve got you. *Click here to book a FREE discovery call with me today.




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