Spreading the cheer starts with the way you feel about yourself. Focus on the positives, and stop the stress and self-negativity around holiday food!
It’s the holiday season – a time of year spent enjoying the presence of those closest to you. Unfortunately, the enjoyment can be interrupted by thoughts of negativity around food and your body.
Fears of weight gain, worries over overeating, or the anticipation of food or body image comments from others are just a few examples of disruptive stressors individuals may face.
When stress is high and anxious emotions are present, negative self-talk tends to creep in.
Why does this happen? Negative self-talk acts as a safety net that’s there for you to fall back on when something isn’t quite going the way you’d like. For example, if you realized you ate more cookies than you anticipated at the holiday party, the safety net of negative self-talk may sound like:
“I cannot believe you ate all those cookies. You have absolutely no self-control. You’re destined to fail.”
Ouch, that’s rough! Ironically, you probably wouldn’t say that to a good friend.
Focus on nourishing your body and soul this holiday season and give yourself a friendly pep talk with the tips below:
1. Stop the stress by balancing negative comments with positive comments.
You may notice that negative self-talk happens automatically; sometimes you don’t even know it’s happening. One way to interrupt the negative self-talk is to balance it with a compliment. Consider it a gift to yourself this holiday season – you deserve it.
2. Make a commitment to stop comparing yourself to others.
You may see people you haven’t seen in awhile, which warrants catching up with others and hearing about what’s new in their lives. Comparisons love to creep up in these moments, and are an open door to negative self-talk. Keep the door closed this holiday season and focus on contentment with yourself.
3. Prepare your responses to unwarranted, stressful topics ahead of time.
Consider some of the topics that may trigger negative self-talk – weight loss stories, comments about “good” vs. “bad” foods, and diet talk. Take some time to think through how you might respond beforehand, and how you may handle the comments in a way that doesn’t trigger that negative voice inside your head.
4. Talk to yourself like you’d talk to your closest friend.
If you choose one tip to work towards this holiday season, choose this one. When you find yourself spiraling into a negative self-talk session ask yourself, “What might I say to a friend in this moment?” If you want to take it a step further make it a journaling exercise and write down all of the positive reminders you would want to tell your friend.
Remember, don’t allow negative self-talk interrupt your holiday season. This time of year is meant for enjoyment and celebration for everyone –
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Kaycie Lindeman, RDN is a Registered Dietitian in Minneapolis, MN who believes that food is meant to be enjoyed and weight is nothing but a number. Passionate about helping others heal their relationship with food and their body, Kaycie specializes in working with women who are ready to reclaim their health by ditching the diet and standing up to society’s unrealistic beauty standards.