Staying Centered at Holiday Gatherings
The holiday season means family get-togethers and a series of parties with friends. It’s easy to get bogged down in details, caught up in old drama, and turned upside down with temptation. With just a little bit of careful planning, you can take steps to stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally so that you can really enjoy spending time with the people you love.
Breathe. Before you ring the bell or answer the door, take a deep, cleansing breath in through your nose. Hold it for a few seconds as you close your eyes, then exhale through your mouth as you open your eyes and behold the beauty all around you. If once wasn’t enough to help you feel calm and balanced, do it again.
Release attachment to perfection. Chaos is the very nature of the Universe. This evening isn’t going to be perfect and you can’t force it to be. Accept that, whether it’s a sick kid or a forgotten dessert or an unruly puppy, something is going to go wrong. Laugh when it does.
Practice Gratitude. Remember the reason you’re where you are…to recognize and celebrate your relationships with people who love you exactly as you are, and who you love back just as fiercely. Thank the Universe for bringing them into your life. The rest is unimportant.
What about all those holiday treats? You know that you feel better when you stick to your healthy eating plan, but how can you avoid temptation? Here are some tips and tricks that work for me.
Eat something healthy before you head out to the party or before guests arrive. This will keep you from feeling so hungry that you’ll eat the first thing you see.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to limit fatigue and keep your belly feeling full.
Bring a healthy and delicious appetizer, side dish or dessert to share.
Healthy foods are delicious, too. If you are the one in charge of cooking, plan a menu loaded with fresh, seasonal vegetables that is pleasing to both the body and the palate. Roasted root vegetables, baked sweet potatoes, and a large salad will give everyone something healthy and satisfying to add to their plate.
Limit your alcohol consumption. Enjoy one or two drinks, alternate cocktails with water, or dilute your wine by adding seltzer and having a spritzer. Drinking too much at holiday gatherings often leads to poor eating choices.
Fill your plate with healthy foods first. As the platters are passed, choose healthier dishes first, and then take just a small portion of the treat or two that tempt you most. Eating healthy isn’t about depriving yourself of the things you love.
All my best for a truly joyous Holiday!