Everything in life has a rhythm. And the rhythm of the season is about moving towards each other in celebration, connection and in sharing food and gifts. If we are fortunate enough to have an abundance of food all around us, how do we take care to enjoy, but not overindulge? Self-Compassion can help.

  1. Savouring and Gratitude are two practices that help to cultivate happiness.  Each meal is an opportunity to practice savouring your food. Linger with each bite.  Enjoy the aroma, the way it looks on the plate and the mouthfeel. Taking time to ‘fill your senses’ is a great way to feel full and satisfied. 
  2. Walk the middle path. Think about balancing longer term health needs with our more immediate desires. It doesn’t work to deny either. So choose thoughtfully. Check in with yourself and ask:
    – What would really nourish me right now?
    – What would I really enjoy?
    –  What dishes am I curious to try?
  3. Get fresh air. Take a break and walk around the block.  Go outside with the kids when they are playing. Suggest non-food oriented activities such as a puzzle or a game. Take opportunities to be away from food central. 
  4. Soothe yourself with a warm beverage. Ask for herbal tea instead of alcohol when you feel like you need to take care. Enjoy the warmth of the cup in your hands. Take a mindful moment with your tea before going back in to connect with others. 
  5. Breathe. In to the count of 3 and out to the count of 6. Before meals, during meals, after meals, before party, during party – anytime you remember. This simple practice works to “calm the nervous system” and help keep us grounded. 
  6. Manage your expectations. Expect there to be some stress, some conflict, some disappointments here and there. There will also be some overindulgence. This is life. Don’t let ypur ‘self-critical voice’ make it worse. Choose to be kind to yourself regardless of what happens. Instead cultivate some self-kindness and self-care with soothing touch and kind words.May your holiday be filled with compassion for yourself and others.