Coping with the holidays

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27 comments

 

The holidays can be a daunting time when we're on a lifestyle change journey; we can experience all sorts of emotions including happiness, stress, loneliness and sadness. It can even be normal to feel conflicting feelings of joy for example if you are having a good time with your family, but also sadness if this festive season reminds you of people you can’t celebrate with or have lost.This might be particularly so this year, as some of us may have experienced sadness and loss during the year.

It is absolutely OK to feel two or more conflicting feelings at the same time. Take time to remember and acknowledge the sadnesses, but give yourself permission to have a good time too, without feeling guilty.  These emotions can often make it much harder for us to do the things we set out to; our SMART goal for example. This can feel frustrating and send us further off track with our health plans. 

Furthermore, the holiday season brings about a change in our food and drink environment; food can become central to our cultural celebrations, supermarkets increase the enticing offers and we may find ourselves eating/drinking with different people to usual. It’s not surprising that the average person gains 1lb/0.5kg across the holiday season with all this change. It’s OK to feel that this might be a challenge. Be realistic with yourself. 

Top tips from our specialist clinical team: 

  • Make a list of things that you like to do for yourself and make time to do them 
  • Make a plan for when you will eat ‘treat foods’ and enjoy them mindfully (avoid distractions and really focus on the flavour and texture)
  • Being physically active is a great mood leveller; you may prefer to focus your goals on this for the time being
  • Be kind to yourself; if things don’t go to plan acknowledge you are only human and move on 
  • Focus on the things you can enjoy and do, rather than too much on the things you can’t.  If you focus on the things/foods you want to avoid it will probably make you want these even more

We would love for you to share ideas and support each other through this tricky time using your programme community…What are you looking forward to about the holidays? What are you not looking forward to? What solutions might there be to any challenges? 

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Comments

  • By on

    These are all good tips; thank you.

  • By on

    I wish you all a warm and joyful Christmas. Being only two, the excesses will not be evident.. but I am looking forward to some turkey, some roast potatoes and some chocolate log. Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year. Kindest regards. Andree

  • By on

    I have just been on holiday which I did find extremely difficult regarding diet. Hopefully I compensated by upping my physical activity with more walking.
    I also have had workmen in the house for a few weeks and this has disrupted all my normal routines especially sleep and regular exercise.
    I have tried hard to do what I can when I can. Routine makes everything so much easier!

  • By on

    Thank you for sending me this information.

  • By on

    That is true. This Christmas will be very challenging and very tricky. Eating sensible and fighting temptation.saying "no" to favorite Sweets and snacks is hard.
    But I already started to train my mind to change the way I used to eat.
    As well as keeping up regular exercises I already made my list of healthier snacks and food for this coming holiday.
    List of fruits and amount of water and certainly less sugar less fatty foods is in plan and quantity and amount of everything is considered.
    Instead Of eating pack of minced pies and shortbread cookies while watching telly will be bowl of fried chestnuts , and sensible amount of popcorns . And fruits small portion dinner. And etc. I am sure my willpower will win. Cause I LOVE MYSELF!.
    Thanks to Prevention Diabetes team
    Very encouraging and helpful. I like being member of this program. Great to be able to express myself.
    Edward.W

  • By on

    I always find Christmas and New Year difficult, being surrounded by yummy food and drink every time you walk into a shop. It’s torture!

    I’m going to try this year to be more mindful about my choices and the amount I eat and hopefully still enjoy everything.

  • By on

    If lots of drinks are being offered, a glass of sparkling water with ice and a slice can be made to last a long time, and people think you are drinking G&T and don't encourage you to have another.

  • By on

    I am working both Christmas Eve and Christmas day till 1pm, which in hindsight is a good thing for me , will allow me to stay on track.

    I intend to stay on track by not ordering masses of sweet things , but I am looking forward to a glass of ginger wine on the day.

    Walking on Boxing day will help shift excess pudding.

    Happy xmas to all

  • By on

    Thank you for this, it’s nice to be reassured and have the pressure taken off a little. Merry Christmas

  • By on

    I shall head for small portions and tiny mince pies and get a walk or two in.

  • By on

    Eat smaller portions, take a walk around, if able to do so, of 20 minutes or more twice a day. Better to do smaller walks more often than 1longer one once. This will allow your system to activate Better by moving rather than sitting.
    Phone a friend for contact, they might be needing to talk to someone too.
    What ever you do enjoy yourself!

  • By on

    Thanks for the wonderful tips

  • By on

    I know everyone is fearful about Christmas celebrations and changing plans in meeting up with family.
    I am going to look forward to a celebration with a difference. I am just going to make it work for myself and daughter.
    Yes I will admit I may well lose my discipline in eating, drinking and treats BUT I shall return to. Strict careful diet as soon as the celebration is over.

  • By on

    I know everyone is fearful about Christmas celebrations and changing plans in meting up with family.
    I am going to look forward to a celebration with a difference. I am just going to make it work for myself and daughter.
    Yes I will admit I may well loose my discipline in eating, drinking and treats BUT I shall return to. Strict careful diet as soon as the celebration is over.

  • By on

    Everything's in moderation is my tip

  • By on

    As I live on my own, I am looking forward to being with the grandchildren (whose bubble I'm in) - they have been isolating for the last 7 days and are not at school - so feel OK about seeing the at Christmas. Also seeing my other son and family on Boxing Day. Although a little apprehensive about Covid 19 as they are all adults. Everyone has been being temperature checked regularly.

    Although I haven't started the course yet, I have started to be more mindful of what I am eating and exercising a bit more.

  • By on

    Enjoy you Christmas. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a few extra things to eat. As long as you go back to healthy eating.

  • By on

    As there is only three of us for Christmas l don’t intend to go over the top with food and drink.l will do my best to try and stick to my goal.

  • By on

    Very useful Info

  • By on

    Very interesting

  • By on

    I hope that the best treat this Christmas will be to see my family. Covid allowing.
    I will have the most difficulty refusing the Xmas goodies.
    I plan to walk daily, this may not be too difficult as my daughter has a dog, he will make it quite clear to us that he wishes to go out.
    My resolve is quite good until the evening when I become usually hungry 4 hours after our evening meal. I am trying to eat toast or perhaps nuts. Does anyone have any good ideas? I have been able to buy some sweets, supposedly sugarless which may help.

  • By on

    Hoping to spend one day with my family. Good food and drink. It's just one day when I will enjoy myself. Back the next day. Merry Christmas.

  • By on

    I would like to say how much I have enjoyed the sessions with Michael. He has made every session interesting, asking the group their opinions, if they want to take part.
    I have learnt a lot about lifestyle changes, most things are common sense, but we all need a reminder every so often. I hopeI can stick to the pattern.
    I know we would all hope to have Michael when the sessions start again.
    Shirley Lacey

  • By on

    Good to have positive suggestions on coping with Christmas.

  • By on

    Thank you-some interesting pointers.Clearly we want to eat well over Xmas and to have a few luxuries but likewise we do not want to undo the good that has been achieved in the last few months of our course.

  • By on

    Good advice which I will try extremely hard to follow.

    After last Thursday's session my wife and I bought a couple of pedometers, which we have started using. Let's see how it goes.

    Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year.

  • By on

    Thank you very much for this blog it’s a good reminder to be strong and avoid any over indulging .

    Mahendra