Healing Through the Holidays Part 3: Celebrating without Food and Treating Yourself

(without Cheating!)

 

Three paper doll girls standing on a pie with a Christmas background

Honestly, you don’t need another thing to think about.

You’re already using all totally alternative ingredients.

You’re already doing yoga and chi gong and rubbing essential oils into your soul.

You’re already spending a ton of money on supplements and organics and toxin free soap.

What more do you have to do?

Why does it need to be harder than that?

How could it possibly be more complicated?

It’s funny, that.

How the holidays just amplify everything.

Some good. Some bad. Some insane.

But when you’re on your healing journey, the holidays can feel huge – in a not so great way.

Healing Through the Holidays Part 3 is the antidote to this – Read parts one and two for the comprehensive survival guide. LINKS HERE!

1. Stick to Your Guns

A still from Brief Encounter of a man and woman staring at each other

What a sham.

This is the one time of year went Auntie Aileen makes her famous caramel cake.

The smell of gingerbread makes you feel like a kid again.

You love nothing more than spiced wine and a country market.

And you can’t.

Because you’re being punished with this stupid diet and meds and all you can think about is what you aren’t allowed to eat and do – which is pretty much everything worth eating and doing.

Deprivation is painful.

Feeling left-out and restricted at a time of supposed celebration is lame.

But when it’s over (and it will end), and everyone’s gained 15 pounds, run their bank accounts dry, and their skin is a nasty mess from so much toxic overload, you will be shining.

It is always worth it to stick to your guns. Society will ensure that the holidays happen again, just as always, every year – so skipping one or two seasons of excess, honestly, will only do you good.

  1. Create and refer to a healing vision board, goals, and visualization practice to bolster your resolve when the cheese dip is calling your name. Keeping up a solid ritual with them all year-round will make it easier when times of candied-crises arise.

2. Give Yourself a Healing Treat (or Ask for One!)

A glamorous woman in a gown on a train platform

If you’re feeling glum about all the stuff you’re missing this season, take the helm and give yourself a healing treat.

It may be dried mango trail mix or home-made soap.

Or, if you’re mega fancy, an infrared sauna session, holistic facial, aromatherapy session, etc.

Bliss out in restorative ways to remind yourself that you are healing quickly, comfortably, and completely.

It’s not necessarily going to be obvious to others that you’d rather not get the usual tray of brownies, cocktail mixers, and cheese board for Christmas.

If you’re in the habit of gift exchange, it’s OK to say that you’re shifting gears this year and trying something new.

If it feels right, you might suggest alternatives like essential oils, a body brush, or organic fruit – all small, easy, and inexpensive options.

3. Reinvent the Holidays

A black and white photo of a woman holding a leafy stem with her silhouette cut out and replaced with pine branches

Stop insisting that festivities happen in the same way as they have for a hundred years.

Holidays are often just old habits on repeat – eating too much, seeing people you’d rather not, huge amounts of waste, and a lot of joyous expectation.

I know I’m being cynical – but I’m not sorry.

Whatever you choose to believe or hold dear, you can opt out of garbage.

You can define the parameters of your celebrations.

Ditch the old useless stuff.

Begin fresh.

Change.

You don’t have to go, do, be, accept, and deal with anything.

Sometimes, traditions suck.

Get rid.

Move on.

Reinvent your meals, your gifts, your parties, everything.

If your holidays are not healing experiences, it’s definitely time to capital C Change the channel.

4. Celebrate Without Food

A vintage woman holding a huge holiday cocktail

If a specific dietary change is a big part of your healing protocol, the first thing you’ll notice is how everything revolves around food.

Everything.

It’s an obsession.

Obviously, the holidays are the mega hulking steroid version of this phenomenon.

And if you are choosing to avoid certain foods or groups, it can be a social shoot-out.

But a useful (and little known) fact here, is that it doesn’t have to revolve around face-stuffing.

You’re not going to change anyone’s feasting traditions by opting out, but you can get festive in millions of other ways that do not involve fine china and mystery sausages.

Shift the focus from food and get creative about different times, places, and types of festive fiascos.

5. Holidays on Your Own Terms

A black and white photo of a woman pouring drinks for children

Host the kind of celebration you’d like to have – doesn’t mean you have to cook a 12 course meal and chop down a tree and hand-make stocking stuffers.

Go for a holistic massage and a juice bar instead of dinner and cocktails (they’ll probably end up costing about the same).

Or take a long walk and hang out bird seed bombs for hungry critters.

Volunteer at a women’s shelter.

Get invigorated about seeing life through a healing lens – which is with true gratitude, energy, and connection.

Last and Most Importantly

You deserve holidays that are full of healing.

Big, shiny, crazy, wonderful times with all the good stuff.

Otherwise…what’s the point?

You don’t have to spend a fortune, see a psychiatrist, or check into rehab.

It’s actually really simple. 

And if it’s not simple, it should be – so calm down, pare down, and sit down.

Finished with Healing through the Holidays Part 3? Hit up Part 1 and Part 2, and look out for Part 4 in a couple weeks!

You got this. 

xoxo

 

 

Want more of the good stuff? There are few things in this life that actually produce results – and this is where it starts. Get my FREE guide,

7 Steps to Healing Success

You’re here for a reason. Listen to your gut.

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Healing Through the Holidays Part 1: Diet, Parties, and Social Sabotage 

When You’re Sick and Exhausted 

Three vintage girls standing on a holiday turkey meal

It’s unfair that it even comes to this, but navigating healing through the holidays can be exhausting, anxiety filled, and potentially progress-wrecking.

Particularly if you are prone to flare-ups or are at a critical point in your healing journey, the holidays are just a gift wrapped hand-grenade.

While your healing journey is deeply personal and firstly about navigating yourself, dealing with the social aspect cannot be underestimated or ignored.

 

With a little careful planning, expectation management, and simple strategy, you can easily outsmart the holiday hexes that would otherwise send you spiraling into mental, emotional, and physical disaster.

This 4 part series is about realistic, honest strategies for coping through times of good cheer and merriment, also known as the healing danger zone of most terrible and unmitigated sabotage, also known as The Holidays.

 

While I cannot protect you from awful bobbly snowman sweaters and Christmas ornaments on store shelves before Halloween is even over, I can impart sanity saving advice that ACTUALLY WORKS to get you through the particularly trying season of holiday healing.

No sensational claims. No gift buying guides. No tinsel.

Healing Through the Holidays: Part I

1. Don’t Go to Parties

A vintage picture of an exhausted, sleeping woman in a chair

I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t. By all means – get your glitter on and light some candles. All I’m saying is you don’t have to. These things come around every single year. Skipping won’t kill anyone. You don’t even have to explain yourself.

You’re not obligated.

It’s not required.

You’re not a bad human for opting out.

There is no blame or guilt.

If you’re sick, tired, can’t face it, are over it, and otherwise not filled with the spirit of pumpkin spiced hysteria, then stay home and read. Or sleep. Drink tea. Watch junky TV. Meditate. Prune your Bonsai.

Point is, if you want to, do, if you don’t, don’t.

You’re healing through the holidays – not suffering through them.

2. Evaluate Your Mindset

A vintage picture of a woman with words coming out of her head

The holidays are directly linked to our childhoods: good and bad memories, expectations, disappointments, friends, family, abundance, lack. Your experience now is based on years of conditioning.

For some, it’s truly magical and exciting – but for many (most?) it’s taxing, tedious, and overwhelming. There may be some painful roots to these feelings that need digging out and examining.

To help you cope in the short term (as roots often take quite a lot of time and energy to extract and deal with) try some of these FREE daily healing, calming practices for immediate (and lasting!) relief:

 

      1. Visualization Meditation: Spend 5 mins in the morning or evening conjuring up images of you in your best healed state, enjoying the holidays like a total honey mama. Your brain loves this kind of positive reinforcement and helps to manifest this energy into reality.
      2. Hypnosis: 15 mins in the morning or evening will reprogram your subconscious mind to heal from the inside out. It’s basically taking a nap while listening to some soothing, healing audio. Easy shit.
      3. Affirmations: Classic, crucial technique here. Create some awesome affirmations that uplift, inspire, and fuel your confidence about the direction you want to heal in. I am healing quickly, comfortably, and completely in this moment. I am safe and protected from all external forces, and healing is happening within me at all times. That kind of thing.
      4. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, Tapping): There are tons of free vids online. Find a practitioner who speaks to you and give it a try. Deceptively powerful stuff.

3. Make It Clear That You Have Different Needs

A woman singing while holding and apple in a holiday decorated kitchen

If you’re going to face healing through the holidays all gung-ho, then you should consider making it clear to your host or guests that your needs are a little different this year.

Maybe your best friend is totally cool making her stuffing gluten free.

 

Or, if it’s too complicated to adjust the menu, let the cook know you’ll be supplementing with your own dishes. It may freak them out a little, so prepare for a bit of back-lash.

Even though you deserve to be treated with care on your healing journey, you are the exception – so expecting the whole cast and crew to mold to your needs will cause tension. No drama, no demands.

 

See what sort of collaboration you can create – perhaps you bring a couple of main dishes that can be enjoyed by everyone, but are also healer friendly – you eat, they eat, everyone eats.

If no one digs into your food, all the more left-overs for you. Win.

4. The Diet

A stylish woman with a pile of food on her head

The worst thing you can do around the holidays is tell people you are on a diet. They will make it their life mission to sink your ship.

People can’t stand to be around anyone on a diet – particularly if they are indulging. It feels too much like judgment to them.

As humans, we just want to be part of the collective whole – and the “holiday whole” is a beast. Everyone wants to have a good time – but not to be made to feel guilty about the extra (four) glasses of wine.

 

Sticking to your diet is imperative to healing through the holidays – but if word gets out, you’ll be busted.

To avoid the comments, snears, unsolicited opinions and suggestions of anyone who is NOT on a healing journey (and therefore, not entitled to intervene), get a little official on their buns.

Say something like “I’m on a doctor prescribed diet,” which sounds all very professional and serious. They’re not going to mess with doctor’s orders.

Whereas, if you start saying, “I’m on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which means no grains, and it’s designed to rebuild gut health…” they’ll shoot it down as hippie hokum, misconstrue it as weight-loss, or label you as one of those picky, hoity-toity healthy types.

 

Just give them some official (possibly bullshit) line, and they will leave it.

You can apply this to any practice or routine that you are using for healing.

Last and Most Importantly

Your holidays can be healing experiences.

It takes adjustment, creativity, and little bravery (particularly if you cannot rely on booze to get you through this time…).

But I know you can do it.

You can deal.

You can heal.

You can blow up the pumpkin pie with a smile on your face.

 

If you’re actually ready to let go of your pain, and become the person you were born to be – like real and serious and no bullshit –

Get Better for FREE

Because you can.

A woman sitting in a field of daffodils on the cover of the e-book Get Better for Free by Anna Kay

 

**WARNING Graphic content: might not be suitable for work**

Some people are born sick. I wasn’t.

I made myself sick. I spent my entire childhood building up to spending my entire adulthood being sick.

And I was incredibly successful at doing so.

Since before I was a teenager, food always held negative connotations for me. My mom was always on a diet and fat-free was pure gospel. At 12 years old, I gave up soda because I knew it was “bad” and felt guilty every time I had a brownie or a Twix.

Barbie celebrating food, crossed out with a big red sign

By the time I was in high school, a flat tummy was my primary concern, and all I wanted was to be thin and beautiful, so I resolutely claimed I didn’t eat wheat or dairy because I “couldn’t tolerate them” – giving myself a bona fide condition (without the help of any doctors).

From about the age of 17, I was heath obsessed and self-punishing full time. If I indulged in frozen yogurt or had eaten too much, I’d take a walk by myself and purge my shame into the neighbor’s bushes, quiet and discrete.

A barbie being sick behind a fence post

In my twenties, I no longer had to worry about barfing up my problems. I had finally achieved my goal: I could hardly eat anything. I was sick. Really, really sick. My belly was huge with parasites, SIBO, H. Pylori, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, hormone imbalances, and fibromyalgic pain.

A sick woman with a distended abdomen

An entire lifetime of food fear and self-loathing had finally come full circle. I no longer had to restrict my diet or think of reasons to exclude gummy bears from my life; my body was doing it on autopilot, and I had a great big distended, angry belly to show for it (not the lithe, svelte frame I’d dreamed of).

 

Chronic Illness and Eating Disorders

I’m going to throw it right out there: I believe my eating disorder became my illness. I believe that my fear of getting fat and having a poochy belly turned into an eating disorder. I think the eating disorder ingrained negative ideas of eating so deeply in my mind that I got sick and became engrossed in 10 years of food sensitivities and life consuming infection.

I had every symptom, every problem, and was deeply suspicious of all food all the time. I became anti-social, was incessantly harassed by the stupid body I hated, and tormented myself over every bite I took and what sort of reaction I would have.

See the pattern there?

And it is probably the same reason YOU are so sick all the time.

Huge, right?

A hideous boulder right in the eye and whoa whoa whoa whoa no.

Let me explain.

 

The Real Reason You’re So Sick All the Time

You don’t have to have a full blown eating disorder in order to qualify, here. It could be something as simple as hating your reflection. Repeating how fat you are every time those jeans squeeze your tum. Believing that if you eat dessert you’ll gain 5 pounds immediately. Mutilating your self-esteem with fashion mags. Buying yet another lipstick to make yourself feel better.

I’m talking about your brain. Your mindset. The way you see yourself and the relationship you have to your body and food and health and healing.

A woman thinking of a cupcake

That’s the real reason you’re so sick all the time. Because your mind is getting right up in your business, hijacking your best intentions and blasting you off course. Bringing out all the dirty laundry and making a stinking shambles of the whole thing.

3 Free Ways to Stop Your Mindset from Making You Sick

I know you’re here because you want to be well. I know you’ve crashed and burned the brain plane. I know you’ve dragged your body through pharmaceutical hell and back. Your soul is shredded and your spirits are singed.

It’s time to stop killing yourself. Stop spending your life suffering. Stop wandering blind.

Use these three tips as a jumping off point to kick start true healing. Take it from a professional invalid, educating your body, beautifying your mind, and healing your life starts here (and it’s free!).

1. Get Honest

Getting honest about the underlying causes of being unwell (physically or mentally) is rough. It’s emotionally triggering and psychologically challenging. I means facing facts and taking responsibility for your role. Believe me; I did NOT want to admit that a shameful eating disorder (and fear and self-loathing) had robbed me of 10 prime years(!).

Look at your symptoms. Your situation. Can you spot any patterns? Can you see where it all began? Was there an event that triggered you? A set of behavioral traits you inherited from your mom?

Digging up these roots will feel like a soul bearing, gut wrenching inquisition. But the answers are there, and they are the key to healing. You must confront the true cause before you embrace true healing – otherwise, it’s likely you will be (unconsciously) repeating patterns of self-sabotage.

 

2. Forgive Yourself

A heart made of broken pieces of blue dishes

Your self-exploration may uncover some nasty stuff. Proper demons. And that’s OK. In fact, that’s freaking awesome. The sooner you call all that stuff into the light, the sooner you can deal and ditch.

Throughout this process – from before you discover anything, through to thriving victory – you must forgive yourself for everything. For all the past failures, the negative thoughts, the self-loathing, how long it takes, the dark secrets. All of it.

Create a beautiful mindset from this point by simply allowing your past to exist, accepting yourself in the moment, and moving forward with a positive intention. Don’t dwell. Don’t punish. Everything happens for your highest good, so (even if you don’t understand it right now) move on believing that purpose and value will reveal itself as you press along with forgiveness and self-love in the driver’s seat.

 

3. Train Your Brain

Healing is the art of bringing physiology (the body) and psychology (the brain) into alignment with one another. Your body cannot be vital if your brain is sick, and vice versa. We must attend to both in order to achieve harmony.

But what if your mind is chattin’ about how ugly your thighs are? What if a little carb alarm goes off every single time you see a loaf of bread? What if you’re used to counting calories and get sucked in by swimming suit season advertising? Healing is not going to come from a place of comparison and inadequacy. 

You must reign in the brain to assist your healing journey. It’s not optional. After you get honest, you can start to dive into the subconscious programming that is informing your actions (and ultimately responsible for your successful recovery). Healing Hypnosis is a free and easy way to get you started on your way. You may also consider mindfulness, emotional freedom techniques, positive affirmations, meditation, or a combination of all. Find what feels good, and do it. 

Start Kicking Ass Today with a Beautiful Mindset

Oh my honey.

This is your cue.

The part where you get to put on your flower crown and take action.

Where you get to shine because you are finally standing in the light.

Where everyone gets to feel your love and share in the gifts you bring.

Because now you know.

How to move forward.

And how to move mountains.

Oh my gosh, yes.

 

xoxo

 

Tell me. Did you spend 2 years wrapped in a duvet with debilitating digestion? Did you pick up parasites in Peru? Have you had a spiritual healing experience? I want to know. 

You deserve true healing.

Book your FREE 15 minute appointment with my

LIFE SAVING Partner and Functional Medicine Practitioner Brie Wieselman today.**

Brie Wieselman

ALSO

You can stop being sick when you’re ready.

Start here:

7 Steps to Healing Success

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(FREE FREE FREE!)

**Brie is my affiliate partner, so let her know who sent you and thank you for supporting us both.

 

You’ve read all the best advice.

 

Even paid quite a lot for some of it.

You’ve tried pills and potions, natural remedies and chemical cocktails.

Maybe you’ve seen a psychiatrist, reflexologist, and gemstone healer.

You’ve tried dry brushing and charcoal detoxes and meditation.

 

You’re not sick because you’re not trying.

 

But you’re not well, even though you’re really trying.

 

But honestly, nothing freaking works. 

 

What the heck?

Lots of makeup, pills, and skin care

 

If you’ve spent a shed ton on expensive elixirs and miracle therapies, why are you still struggling with the same old demons? Why all the brain fog? Why the hideous acne and hair loss and dry skin? Why don’t you feel beautiful, even with a drawer full of designer lipstick? Why the pain and fatigue and confusion and stupid stupid pointlessness of it all?

 

All you can think is:

I don’t want to be sick anymore.

I don’t want to be sick anymore.

I don’t want to be sick anymore!

Ah ha. There it is. The crux. The answer. The cruelty.

 

Wait, what? Did you miss it?

 

Let me explain.

The Absolute Key To Getting Better

Let me explain something that took me 28 years to stop ignoring. Listen closely because this will change your life in every single way forever and ev.

 

In order to heal, in order for your efforts to fulfill your desires (whether it’s to become more sociable, reduce sun spots and wrinkles, or improve adrenal function) you have to get your brain on board. Have to. Must. No other options.

A barbie wearing a helmet that is connected to lightbulbs to improve her mindset for healing

 

That is the key. Right there. Get your brain (and, moreover, your subconscious mind, which is 97% of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions) to do the hard work for you. 

 

You could throw a million dollars, the best supplements, and the most brilliant specialists at your problems…and it will all be for nothing until you get that mindset sorted. 

 

Once you have the gray matter on your side, the landscape of life becomes something beyond what you ever thought possible.

 

How? Read on.

 

The Two-Part Process to Getting Better

It’s natural for us to talk about what we want and don’t want. From infancy, we are trained to think in those terms. I want strawberry ice cream. I don’t want hair on my upper lip. I want to be a millionaire. I don’t want to be sick anymore.

 

However, this social norm presents a healing double edged conundrum that’s so sharp, it’ll skewer your liver and scramble your brains in a second if you’re not careful. Stay with me now, this is massive.

 

In order to find freedom from the suffering of your mind and body, you’ve got to get a hold of this two-part key to getting better.

 

You don’t want to be sick anymore. That’s a given.

So:

1. You have to frame your health and healing goals in the positive tense.

And:

2. You have to get your subconscious mind on board.

 

Let me explain each in detail.

1. Shifting the Negative Focus

A pink germanium

Thinking in terms of what we want and don’t want becomes counter-productive when we get stuck stating what we want by saying what we don’t want.

 

For example, we’ve all thought, I don’t want to be sick anymore! Which is a perfectly reasonable sentiment. But what we really mean is, I want to be healthy, strong, vital and well.

 

See the difference?

 

Making the switch will take some time and effort; I know you don’t want it to rain on your wedding day and you certainly don’t want your tum to be bloated when you go out to dinner in a nice dress.

 

But every time you catch yourself framing what you want in the negative tense, simply redirect. Re-frame the sentiment with a positive spin. You want warm sunny weather for your big day, and you want to feel sexy and amazing in that figure-hugging dress.

 

Similarly, when you think, I don’t want to be sick anymore, dial into the vision you have of yourself being well, and focus on whatever encouraging, positive outcome you truly desire. Set yourself a definitive goal that you can focus on and visualise. It may be that you want to visit Venice and wear a yellow halter top. Or take a sewing class at the local college. Maybe you’ve always wanted to Salsa dance. Whatever it is: focus on going insane with happiness. 

 

2. Getting Better With the Subconscious Mind

Barbie holding a light bulb over her head to show a beautiful mindset

The subconscious mind is a tricky biscuit. It is non-negotiable that we get a grip on it; otherwise, we will constantly be battling against it’s 97% influence over our lives.

However, there are a few tricks to training the subconscious mind to do what we want, and one of them is learning to speak its language.

 

What I said about re-framing the negative focus from I don’t want to I want is the first part. Now, we’re going to refine that sentiment. 

 

You see, the thing is, the subconscious mind is extremely literal. So, when you say, I want, then your subconscious accepts that you are living in a state of wanting. As in, you are simply longing for something, and will continue to yearn for that thing as long as you say, I want. Your subconscious will simply go, “Righty-ho, we are going to want the dickens out of this thing!” As such, you will continue to want and want and want, never to be fulfilled.

 

The way to get around this is to re-frame yet again, by taking the positive focus you have cultivated from I want to the present tense of I am/I have/it is. So, instead of saying, I want to heal, say, I am healing more and more every day. In this way, your subconscious goes, “Oh, OK. So we are healing more everyday. Great. Let’s heal.”

 

Accordingly, your thoughts, emotions, and reactions begin to reflect this subconscious idea that every day you are healing more and more. As we apply this frame work to other areas of our life (particularly our healing journey) it all becomes far less effort and a much more intuitive, natural flow. It becomes habit. Imagine if being amazingly well and happy was simply a habit. As in, easy. Something you do without effort or even thinking.

 

That’s like ultimate success on auto-pilot (delivered in a vintage basket with peach jam).

 

From today, you can now start saying: my yoga practice is healing and nurturing my body. I am loving and forgiving in every moment and have more energy each day. I am beautiful, with youthful skin and an open mind.

(Even if you don’t entirely believe what you are saying, stick with it. You are rewiring your brain, which takes a bit of coaxing. Like any muscle, with regular practice, you will see results. The subconscious mind responds really well to repetition, so get cracking!)

Open Your Mind to Getting Better 

An drawing of a human heart overlaid onto a sunset

Though not necessarily easy, this two-step process is the absolute key to getting better, and has the potential to radically alter your future.

It certainly changed my life. Like, completely.

 

And it’s totally free.

 

Imagine it: you totally (and dare I say, miraculously) transform your life, love, health, and relationships with some tiny little blog advice and boom!

You’re teaching aerobics like you’ve always wanted.

 

You’re a make-up artist on film sets, living the dream.

 

You can make love and have babies and eat cake and hold kittens and blow bubbles because you are strong and vital and well, inside and out.

 

Do this with me.

 

Educate your body. Beautify your mind. Heal your life.

 

Yes oh baby yes.

 

Tell me: Where has your healing journey taken you? Where have you been and what did you discover about who you really are? What pain have you overcome to become a bright shiny thing of absolute beauty? I want to know. 

Sick of being a sick, sad sister?

Want to Get Better for FREE?

You can.

Right now.

A woman sitting in a field of daffodils on the cover of the e-book Get Better for Free by Anna Kay