It can be all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. To help combat seasonal stress, I have created a guide to help you slow down and savor every moment, so you can enjoy what is truly important: spending time with those you love. Read on to discover seven tips to incorporate mindfulness into your holidays this year, no matter where you are.
Tip #1: Put mindful eating into practice. One way to prevent overeating is to put your fork down between bites so you eat slowly and savor everything you taste. Listen to your body. Remember to enjoy the moment, be present and breathe. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for your body to know it’s full, so stop eating before you feel like a stuffed Tofurky.
Jem’s Tips for a Healthy Vegan Feast
- Fill half your plate with as many greens as possible. Think steamed veggies, raw veggies and salad. (I love sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower and broccoli!)
- Make or bring a vegan roast. As you know, I do not eat any soy products and avoid gluten 99.9% of the time, because it makes me feel terrible. But during the holidays, I have found the Field Roast Celebration Roast with Mushroom Gravy is the Bomb.com. It seriously tastes like heaven.
- Avoid super fatty foods. I don’t know about you, but ingesting a lot of oil really hurts my stomach. Plus, it isn’t good for your waistline. When using oil, choose organic coconut or organic avocado oil.
- Indulge in a treat. I like to bring my own vegan dessert to share when I attend a party. I don’t normally like eating any sort of added sugar, but it is OK to indulge occasionally. Some past options have been bringing a Hail Merry tart or coconut ice cream. This year I plan on making this amazing vegan banoffee pie (banana + toffee + coconut whip = whattttt?!?!?).
Tip #2: Combat holiday stress with gratitude. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take that as your body’s cue to tell you that you need to take a step back. Gratitude can help alleviate stress and improve overall wellness, so take note of everything you appreciate during the season.
Tip #3: Don’t get caught in the trap of perfectionism. Many people feel pressure to create the “perfect” holiday for their family. Instead of getting caught up in this, try donating your time to help those less fortunate. The holidays are a great time to practice compassion and give with your time, love, positive energy and emotional support. Plus, perfection is not attainable (can you imagine how boring our world would be if it was?), so it is important to let go of that expectation to fully enjoy and appreciate the experiences you do have.
Tip #4: Let go of judgement. If anything, the holidays are a reminder to be empathetic toward others and yourself. Try being observant and receptive to family, friends and even strangers – to increase your ability to connect. Observe how you are feeling during this season and be open to communication.
Tip #5: Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice — really notice — what you’re sensing in the moment, e.g., the sights, sounds and smells that ordinarily slip by without reaching your conscious awareness. Even if you’re at your gran’s surrounded by 30 drunken family members who all have different political views.
Tip #6: Be gentle with yourself. Everybody needs time for themselves. So make sure you take some time out for you. Draw a warm bath, do a yoga flow, meditate, cozy up with a good book, or take a nap. Whatever it is that relaxes you, take some time to do it so you can be your best for others during this hectic time.
Tip #7: Step outside. Never underestimate the grounding abilities of Mama Gaia. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a walk or run before the party. Or, if at the party you find yourself feeling anxious, step outside and feel the cool wind on your face; gaze up at the stars and remember that we are all connected and you are not alone