Healing Through the Holidays Part 1: Diet, Parties, and Social Sabotage
When You’re Sick and Exhausted
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
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
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 –
Because you can.