Staying Fully Well During the Holidays
Last year my husband and I were traveling during Christmas. We started in Barcelona, Spain and traveled to Seville, then to Lisbon, Portugal, finally ending in Venice, Italy. If you don't know already, we LOVE to travel. We spent all of our time eating, walking, experiencing and embracing the slower-moving European culture during a traditionally "high stress" time of year. We loved it and while it was sad being away from home and family during Christmas, it was also nice not dealing with the stress and the "feelings" that come along with this time of year. Warning: that's what this post is going to be about, feelings. So if you're not into people feeling things, you may want to dip out now!
This year, we are not traveling. We are staying home and doing traditional Christmas-like things: Decorating the house, listening to Christmas songs and singing as loudly as possible, watching all the Christmas movies (Elf on repeat, thanks Freeform), baking, and spending time with family. Spending time with family is great (love you, mom and dad) but it can also be draining if you're used to spending your time introverting.
Christmastime can also be challenging if you've made a commitment to better health, better beliefs, better anything. If you've decided to change your eating habits and relationship with food, people will notice and they will comment. I've heard "you can't eat that," "just one (fill in the blank) won't hurt you," "that's not a part of your diet," "I wish I could do what you're doing," so many times, especially around this time of year. It's exhausting and it used to make me feel like I always had to be on the defense. However, I've learned along this journey that people will try to take their own perceptions of their relationship with food and try to put that on you.
If you're consciously making better-for-YOU health choices do not let the comments of others belittle that commitment.
Making changes in your life is not a bad thing. Changing your mind about something, being a conscious consumer, a conscious eater, or someone who is #woke is not a bad thing. Whether you're changing things for your physical health, mental health, emotional health, or spiritual health, please hear me when I say, people will notice, people will tell you how they feel about it, but only you are in control of how you manifest that. I say all of these things because I know. I have been in that space for years and I don't like it either, but it's something we deal with and you can and will get through it.
So if you're feeling the stress this holiday season for any reason, just know that you can and will get through it. If you've made a commitment to being more conscious in your consumption this holiday season, you do you! Don't let the comments of others make you feel pressured or allow you to quit. Keep on keeping on. You do not have to justify yourself to anyone.
And finally, I'll only spend a quick minute on this last one. If you're finding yourself on the opposite end of the political spectrum of your family members this holiday season and you're wondering how you're going to deal, take a breath. Say things like, "I'd rather not engage in any political conversations during this joyous time," and change the subject or just walk away. Christmas is a time for sharing love and joy and that's what we should be focusing on.
Stay conscious, stay mindful, stay well,