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Holiday Mayhem and Self-Love

Kim Shapira
April 17, 2023
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New Year, Same You Only Better

I challenge you to find the joy in the journey. What if we didn’t have to get through the holidays, what if we had the tools to enjoy Holiday Mayhem.

A deep breathe can do wonders for our body. In fact, a few deep breaths can help our nervous system relax. Try it, let me know what you think.  Your breath should come from your stomach, it should be a slow long inhale where the only part of your body that moves is your stomach. Place your hand on your belly button, take a slow long deep breath and fill your stomach like a balloon, and then let it out slowly so your stomach goes back to normal. Do three of these. Do them often, do them anywhere. No- one will notice, this is available to you anytime time of the day.

When you notice that your attention has wandered, take that slow, deep breath, and notice where your mind is. One fun trick I like to ask myself, “what time zone is my body in?” Then I ask, “what time zone is my mind in?” The goal is for both to be here now.  

If you feel overwhelmed take a break, leave the room for a few minutes. You can use the tool from Rule 1(Eat When You Are Hungry) and apply this utilizing a fifteen-minute break (which goes for food too), find that joy in the journey, don’t rush the meal, the party, or the conversation. Finding gratitude is another great tool you can do anywhere. Practice finding, seeking gratitude in as many things as you can do. This helps change our mindset from negative to positive. Practicing gratitude is like a little boost we can all use from time to time. Find it in the smells, the hugs, the warmth, the food that fuels us, the trees, the snow, your dog. Seek it out and watch how it will transform your mood and nervous system.

It’s universally understood that if something is more challenging, people are less likely to do it. This is because our minds don’t want us to have any discomfort, our minds are constantly seeking pleasure. For us to stay in the “challenge” of our goals around the holidays we have to explore new things, be creative, find fun in the moment. Make it a game, “how well can I take care of myself today, in this moment, during that meal, around my family?”

When we are more mindfully aware, the more naturally we savor our experience. The more present and less distracted we are, the more we can immerse in the experience. (Rule 3 Eat Without Distraction.) When distractions in the manner of critical judgments form with our mind wandering into past and future—like A Christmas Carol ghost— they tend to diminish our feeling of satisfaction and joy. If things become difficult, silently practice mindfulness, and allow for grace.  You have come so far, and survived every moment, you can do this. Think, thoughts are like trains, we have 60,000 that come into our mind every day. Don’t hop into any trains, stay on the platform. Thoughts pass, emotions pass, you can let them. New trains will keep coming. (Rule 2 Eat What You Love.) It’s about you, you are the investment, the reward. Take care of YOU in all the moments. Work on accepting that some of the moments that aren’t fun, that they might be uncomfortable and those moments are okay too.

Self-love during this Holiday Season looks like deep breaths, using the fifteen minute trick, finding gratitude and viewing your thoughts like they are the best television show you have ever seen, while, also not engaging with them. It might be the holidays, or vacation for many, but that does not mean you can put yourself on hold. No, this week we are doing the opposite- we are digging into all of my Six Simple Rules and we are showing up for ourselves. That is self-love.

Self-love and self-care are the best gift YOU can receive and gift yourself during this Holiday Mayhem.

Happy Holidays,

Xx Kim

Kim Shapira

Kim Shapira

dietitian and nutrition therapist.

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