Everyone loves to treat themselves over the holidays; after all, it is the perfect time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures with loved ones. However, holidays are infamous for overindulgence — from spending money to eating sweet to drinking alcohol. To avoid overindulgence this holiday season, consider these eight tips.
Stay present and mindful
It’s easy to neglect your routine when planning and celebrating holidays. To maintain your grounding, practice self-care and mindfulness throughout the holiday season. Drink plenty of water, eat until you’re comfortably full, and get enough sleep so your body is well-nourished and rested. When there are quiet moments, meditate or sit quietly and take a few deep breaths.
Before going to a holiday party, make a plan to avoid overindulging in food or drink so you don’t feel sick or vulnerable. If you’re worried about drinking too much alcohol, plan to drink one water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Before you go to a holiday party, eat your regular meals so you’re not tempted to overindulge all at once. You can also immerse yourself in the party by helping the hostess, bringing games to play, and socializing with your loved ones.
Drink lots of water
Drinking water is not only important for hydration, but it also helps you be more intuitive with your eating and drinking habits. Seltzer water is a great “prop” beverage if you’re in a situation where someone may pressure you to drink. If you do feel like you want to drink, you can also use water to dilute it and space out any alcoholic drinks you have with water.
Make intuitive decisions
Especially during the holiday season, many overindulge in food and drink when surrounded by loved ones or attending celebrations. To avoid this, check in with your body periodically so you’ll drink only when you’re thirsty and only eat when you’re hungry. Listen to your body’s cues without judgment. For instance, if you’re craving seconds, don’t restrict yourself. If you’re feeling dehydrated, drink some water. If you’re uncomfortably full, make a to-go plate of dessert you can enjoy the next day when you’re hungry again.
Set up activities for you and your loved ones to do together that aren’t related to food, beverages, or spending money. Not only will it be a fun way to pass the time, but it’ll also keep you occupied and prevent you from overindulging. Organize activities like board games, holiday movie nights, walks, arts and crafts, volunteer work, and other activities to keep your mind focused.
The holidays can be a stressful season. If you know of certain triggers like stress cause you to overindulge in food or drink, take steps to avoid them. Set boundaries and nonnegotiables with friends and family. This may mean you miss a certain event, however, taking time to regroup can help you feel good knowing you’re putting your health first. Set goals with yourself related to overindulgence at the start of the holiday season and change your environment or routine if you find yourself falling short of those goals.
If you are worried about your or a family member’s substance use this holiday season, feel free to use Wellspring’s help tool for guidance.
Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA