The holidays are a flurry of activities and emotional experiences, so it’s easy to understand why so many people fall back into bad patterns from the past. Whether it’s drinking too much, overeating or rekindling unhealthy romances, there’s something about the season that makes us throw caution (and good sense) to the wind and say “Why not? It’s Christmas!” But this year, you can give yourself the gift of a happy, healthy holiday by avoiding overindulgence.
Pay attention to what your weaknesses are. If every Christmas, you put on ten extra pounds and then feel miserable all spring, you know you’ve got to watch your exercise and eating habits. If you’re notorious for ending up sloppy drunk at the company Christmas party each year, you know that drinking may be your holiday vice. Maybe you get lovelorn at Christmas and end up in an ill-fated holiday romance each year? Then you know it’s your heart you have to watch out for this season.
Once you know your weaknesses, your job is to finding ways to avoid. Rather than testing your will on an empty stomach, plan to eat dinner before the party. Remove your ex’s number from your phone, so you won’t be tempted to drunk dial him after the Christmas party. And if you know Peppermint Martinis are your downfall, avoid situations where alcohol will be the focus – and stick to softer stuff, like beer and wine.
Indulge a Little
Of course, even the best-laid plans can fall apart if you completely deny yourself an occasional treat. Staring at a plate full of Christmas cookies all night may just push your self-restraint past its limits. So when you eventually cave, you’ll be so insane with longing you just might end up eating the entire plateful. Continually denying yourself the pleasures of the season will ruin your holiday – which may even cause you to indulge even more.
The key is to know the difference between indulging and overindulging. Enjoy the season – but set limits in your head and stick to them. If you love the romance of the season, go ahead and flirt under the mistletoe — but don’t dig yourself into a relationship you know won’t last until New Year’s. If you love holiday cookies, sample a few of your favorites, but don’t spend the entire night eating everything on the table. Have a glass of eggnog and make a move to the dance floor, away from the bar.
If you’re worried about your ability to make smart choices this season, confide in a trusted friend and ask for her support. Not only will she be able to help you avoid tempting situations, she can also provide accountability for your actions. Your friend may even have her own holiday vice that you can help her avoid too. Not only will you share your struggles, you can share your success together when the New Year rolls around.
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