“I was in SUCH a good place until I went home for the holidays.”
Have you ever said this to a friend, or had them say it to you?
Even the best of us – the ones with the most knowledge and tools – can backslide during the holidays.
No matter how solid your routines are, how nourishing your diet is, or how customized and cutting edge your supplements and remedies are, the winter months can bring challenges.
We’re away from our usual routines…
We’re surrounded by foods we don’t eat on a regular basis….
… and perhaps the biggest reason we backslide during the holidays:
We’re often with the people who trigger us the most – our family members.
The aunt who asks questions you don’t want to answer.
The brother who triggers old food behaviors.
The stepmom who always has a meltdown.
Being around family can make it easier to revert to old habits, open up old wounds, or just feel downright stressed and anxious.
This is all normal.
If you feel great all year until the holidays hit, there’s nothing wrong with you.
No one feels 100% all the time – and perfection isn’t our aim, but progress is.
So how can we feel better during the holidays and avoid a backslide?
1. Carve out time for yourself.
Taking time for yourself in the morning can help set your mood and energy for the whole day.
Doing 15-20 minutes of stretching, yoga, meditation, breathwork, or anything else that nourishes your body and mind will help you stay grounded and centered.
When you feel grounded and centered, it’s easier to make choices that serve you, and to keep a cool head if conflict comes up.
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and even help reduce pain, boost immunity, and support addiction recovery.1
Yoga, movement, and breathwork can also play a big role in regulating and improving mental and physical health.2, 3
2. Focus on adding in extra nutrients.
No one wants to feel deprived during the holidays.
Eat the foods you love.
Chew them well, pause, breathe, and share good conversation with family and friends.
Focus on all the great nutrients you can include to give you energy, rather than focusing on everything you may be trying to avoid.
Add more fresh vegetables to your plate, drink a glass of water for every glass of wine, and keep up with your Infoceuticals and/or supplements.
When you focus on all the nourishing foods that will truly serve your body, you’re less likely to overeat other foods.
Sure, you may have a serving of dessert, but when you’re fueled up with the good stuff – the foods that work best for your body – your cravings naturally decrease.
Plus, restriction itself can lead to overeating.
Instead of trying to avoid and resist, try going in with a relaxed mindset, and choosing nutrients first.
When you focus on nutrients first, you may be more aware of your limits.
For example, it may feel easier to choose a smaller serving of dessert and savor it slowly.
On the other hand, if you’ve been favoring wine over water and pie over vegetables, you may be more likely to reach for a big slice of cake for a quick boost of energy.
What comes after the boost? A big crash.
Filling up on nutrients first will help stabilize your blood sugar, mood, and energy.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no.
One of the top complaints during the holidays is feeling overbooked and frazzled.
It’s supposed to be a time off work, full of love and connection, but many of us wind up feeling overwhelmed with events and shopping.
What can you take off your plate this year, to leave more time for what the holidays are really about?
If you can leave your schedule a little leaner, you may feel a true sense of relaxation and connection.
4. Spend time in nature.
Nature recharges us.
Negative ions boost and balance our energy, helping to wipe out the deleterious effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and stress.
The more time you can spend in nature, the better you’ll feel this holiday season.
If it’s not too cold outside, you can even do some grounding, where you walk barefoot on the earth for a few minutes, or as long as you can.
Pro tip: The NES miHealth device offers similar benefits as being in nature.
It’s a powerful biofeedback device that’s non-invasive and effective at reducing stress and re-educating energy flow to support and stimulate self-healing.
Why is this important, especially during the holidays?
When you feel better, you make better choices. It’s the compound effect.
In one study, over 95% of participants reported feeling less stressed, anxious, and depressed after spending time in nature.4
5. Go easy on social media.
Spending a lot of time scrolling social media can add an unneeded layer of stress, on top of all the events, food, and family dynamics.5
It’s too easy to compare ourselves to others, get overwhelmed by all the things we think we “should” be doing, and waste time we could be spending with loved ones.
For a calmer and more connected holiday season, try limiting social media to an hour per day, or taking a break from it altogether for a few days.
You may be surprised by how good it feels.
If you want to take photos and videos, a great trick is to put your device on airplane mode, capture all the memories you want, then post them later.
When we’re in a different environment with different people, we shouldn’t expect to feel exactly the same as we do the rest of the year.
The aim here isn’t to feel perfect throughout the holidays – just to feel as good as you can, and to avoid derailing your health altogether.
As challenging as it can be, it’s a gift to get out of your routine and enjoy precious time with family.
Focusing on these five steps can help prevent a backslide, and help keep your precious health intact, so you have the energy to be fully present with your loved ones.
Do you struggle with the holidays?
If so, we hope these tools support you this season.
Founder, NES Health