How to Prevent Stress Eating During the Holidays

How to Stop Stress Eating this Holiday Season

Does the thought of entering a mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas send you into a frantic tailspin? Does attending a holiday cocktail party make you anxious? Does the massive TO DO LIST that goes on top of everything else you have to do make you pull your hair out?

When people feel overwhelmed, they tend to reach for something to ease the tension. It may be a plate of sweet and gooey cookies or cake, a bag of salty, crunchy chips or popcorn, or maybe a bottle of wine or several cocktails. Does this stress eating and drinking sound familiar?

Many of us will be starting out the holiday season with the best of intentions when it comes to eating. What we fail to realize is this: if those well-meaning intentions are combined with uncontrolled stress, we are setting ourselves up for failure! We aren’t even giving ourselves half a chance!

The good news about stress eating is that we each have our own unique perception of stress and that perception of stress can be minimized when we find the right strategy.

What this means is that YOU are in the driver seat and YOU can decide what your stressful situations will be. For those of you who consider yourselves to be control freaks, this can be a good thing.

The first step is to clearly define what makes you stressed and find a way to help manage it before you begin stress eating and make your way through an entire bag of chips or plate of Christmas cookies.

You don’t need to feel bad because the world we live in is one based in the notion of “lack and scarcity”. How often do we tell ourselves, I am not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, accomplished enough, creative enough…..etc. It’s a condition we all experience.

Now ask yourself this question- Why does the mall make you feel stressed? Why don’t you want to go to that holiday party? Why does a lengthy to do list leave you overwhelmed? Could it be because we are not rich enough, thin enough, or accomplished enough?

Kathleen Graham, who teaches how to live a life of abundance, reminds us to tell ourselves, “I am abundant, all the time.” Living in abundance is the polar opposite to a life filled with lack and scarcity and a key antidote to stress.

Living in abundance is the process of reminding ourselves that everything we need or want is available to us all the time. You may not realize it or believe it. But what if you did?

For example, if you are trying to stick to a nutrition plan – realize that there are an abundant number of options available. What could you do to make the next holiday party less stressful? Could you eat a well-balanced meal right before you leave? Could you encourage healthier options at the party by bringing a healthy treat you love? What if you hosted a holiday party with like-minded friends who are also committed to their health? Is it even possible to give yourself some leeway for the party without sabotaging all your efforts? Living in abundance tells us that options are abundant and available to us right now. You’ll just have to recognize that you do have options, be true to what you want and then take action to bring it into your reality.

By shifting your thoughts away from lack and scarcity and toward a life of abundance, you can avoid stress eating and get what you want without feeling deprived. You’ll be left feeling proud, energetic and accomplished, free from stress and excited for what comes next.

Catherine McNulty is a successful certified holistic heath coach and owner of Idiotic Abundance. She specializes in helping people reduce stress, be more productive, and focus on living an abundant life.

You can visit her website and blog at Idiotic Abundance