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Mindful eating tips for the festive season

Chocolates, various roast dinners, drinks, cheese and so on...Christmas is a festival for the mouth and the stomach, and provides many temptations that we may feel guilty about comes January.

So without taking all the fun out of your Christmas gathering, try these mindful eating tips! 

1. Before eating: check in with yourself

Ask yourself: how hungry am I right now? Am I eating because I am genuinely hungry or because others are, or because I feel I should? If you're genuinely hungry, then of course eat! If you're not, take a deep breath, move away from that buffet for a few minutes, engage in conversations, and see what happens.

2. The first bite

I'd like to invite you to take the first bite of each new dish with your eyes closed. This will allow you to feel the textures and the flavours more, and therefore appreciate more what you have in your mouth.

3. After eating: pause

Before you take seconds, leave a break. We don't tend to realise we're full until 3-10 minutes after we've finished eating. So leave a break, then ask yourself 'am I still genuinely hungry'?

And if you do decide to have seconds or treat yourself to that fifth chocolate, you'll at least do it consciously! 

 

3 tips to stay sane over Christmas

The holiday season is a festive and merry time of the year, but it can also be a real source of stress for many people. Worrying that we are buying good enough presents, anxiety about money, traffic and busy trains, to actually spending time with people we perhaps haven't seen in a while or don't really want to spend time with, the potential stressors are many.

We feel the pressure of having a really good time, when sometimes things are a little more complicated.

So here are a few tips to help you stay sane when surrounded by family and relatives

1. Be mindful of where you are at

Whilst we may find certain situations or people difficult, in mindfulness we work with ourselves, we don't try to change other people. Becoming aware of where you're at is therefore a good starting point, so you can then find an appropriate response rather than automatically react to situations or people.

So, asking yourself..

- how am I feeling in my body right now? Am I noticing any tension and can I try and soften my body?

- how am I feeling emotionally, generally and towards certain people? If difficult emotions arise, can I bring myself a bit of compassion for feeling this way?

- what thoughts are going through my mind? Are they thoughts that promote my own well-being and the well-being of others? If not, can I re-write the stories I am telling myself?

2. Remember your similarities

Remember that even the one person who really annoys you actually wants the same things you do: they want to have a good time, and they want to be happy, just like you. So whilst it may seem strange to repeat this to yourself, I can promise that it will make a difference to how you respond, which opens the door for a new kind of response from them. Try it!

3. Take a break

If things get too overwhelming, pause or take a break! Go for a walk, go for a nap, or why not practice a 3-min guided meditation? It's easier to gain perspective after removing ourselves from a situation. Allow yourself that pause. 

I hope you'll find these helpful! Let me know how you get on! x