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7 Holistic ways to experience a healthy holiday

Lover of all things health and wellness, Katie Bressack is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach who traded in corporate stress for green smoothies and yoga while living in NYC.

The average person only gains one to two pounds during the holiday season. This holiday season, don't worry about weight gain and truly nourish your body instead.

mother relaxing during holidays

Did you know that the average person only gains about one to two pounds during the holiday season? I hope this makes you breathe a sigh of relief!

All the nutrition and wellness articles out there might be making you nervous that you are going to gain weight just by looking at your food this year. Please don't get caught up in this.

I am here to encourage you to take a fresh, new approach to the holidays — the busiest time of the year — and nourish your body instead of depriving it so you can truly enjoy this time of year. By incorporating these Holistic Healthy Holiday Tips into your life, you will feel calmer and healthier this year.

Holiday intention

With all of the upcoming work and family events, you might feel like you are constantly on the go. This jam-packed schedule will only leave you feeling burned-out instead of relaxed during your holiday. I encourage you to take a moment to sit and think about how you would like to feel this holiday season. I'm sure "busy" and "stressed" are not at the top of your list. When we are focused on positive things about the holidays, it helps our bodies relax, which actually keeps the emotional and stress weight off of our bodies.

Breathe

Breathing is one of the most important things we can do to help our body and mind relax, but it is often the first thing we forget to do. Think about when you are working on a big project — you might notice that you find yourself holding your breath.

Whenever our body feels stressed, our innate reaction is to stop breathing. Make a real effort to concentrate on your breath this holiday season. Throughout your day, take deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

Adding deep breathing into your life will help your mind feel more at ease and will also help you avoid overeating. I guarantee that you will feel more refreshed and sane when leaving your office if you just breathe more.

No guilt

Many of my clients have said to me over the years that they feel guilty over the holidays. They feel guilty for not finding the perfect gift, not spending enough time with relatives and eating too much pumpkin pie.

Guilt actually causes more weight gain than that extra slice of pie does. Think about it this way: When you are with the people you really want to be spending time with and are enjoying your food, you leave feeling happy and nourished. But if you are not with the people you enjoy and you keep telling yourself that you will gain weight by eating too much, then you will. Let go of the guilt and your body and mind will thank you.

Say no

I give you permission to not attend every single work event and family event this holiday season. I know you love being social, but if being social is leaving you with no time for yourself to do what you enjoy doing, then it is more than OK to not attend every single event you are invited to. Remember that saying no to someone is really a way of saying yes to yourself and your health.

Find your inner child

Holidays are supposed to be fun. If you are not in the holiday spirit and are feeling stressed just thinking about the holidays, I encourage you to remember a time in your childhood when you were happy and carefree. See if you can tap into that feeling and use that emotion to bring you into a more festive holiday spirit. When we are having fun, our bodies can relax and we don't gain weight.

Let go

The holidays are not supposed to be perfect! The more you can let go of your really high expectations, the more fun you will have. If you are hosting an event this year, ask someone to help you. If you are the one who does all of the holiday shopping and cooking, split up the tasks and start early. Learning to let go and ask for help is key to feeling healthy and calm.

Nourish yourself

So often, my clients tell me that they are being good by not eating their favorite holiday dish. I always cringe when they tell me this because we are supposed to nourish our bodies, not deprive them. When you skip your favorite foods, it only leaves you feeling unsatisfied and upset. Enjoying your favorite foods a few times during the year is not going to leave you heavier, but depriving yourself will leave you craving foods and overeating. It is more than OK to nourish yourself, especially around the holidays. Just remember that the holidays are usually only a few days out of the year.

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