“How would your life be different if...You were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to, or read? Let today be the day...You pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life.”
- Steve Maraboli
Holiday season is here. For many of us, that means delicious food and an always-interesting time with family. While you may feel slightly like an expanding balloon by the end of next weekend, here’s a fun fact: the average person doesn’t put on quite as many holiday pounds as you might expect! (Hint: It’s about one pound per holiday season.) But hey, let’s not dwell on the scale — instead, let’s talk about holiday mindfulness.
When in doubt, follow these traffic lights to maintain your mindfulness over the holidays:
Red Light: Watch out for communication SNAFUs. Consider your boundaries and needs up front. One assertive communication technique that may help: the BIFF response, or brief, informative, friendly and firm. This response can really come in handy when you’re tending to your health during the holidays. Try these on for size: “I love you, Aunt Martha, and I do not need another helping of mashed potatoes.” Or, “I need to go for a walk to manage my diabetes.”
Yellow Light: When it comes to enjoying your meal, go slow and pay attention! Eating mindfully helps. Practice noticing the taste, smell, texture, and visual experience of food. Notice what it is like to chew and swallow it. Pace yourself; drink water or focus on conversation between bites. Limit your portion sizes.
Green Light: Exercise, community and gratitude. Make it part of your holiday tradition to go for a walk after dinner or give a donation to your local food bank. You can reflect on the traditions, relationships and foods that nourish you, and say thank you to someone you love.
Christen Mullane, Ph.D.
Seven Days of Gratitude: Each day, reflect on one of the following topic areas. Note three things you are grateful for in that topic area.
What are we reading? Glad you asked! This week’s MO recommendation is:
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life
By Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
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