A craving is the body’s way of communicating it’s needs to us. Around the holiday season, with all it’s stresses, commitments and expectations, we can misinterpret the cravings caused by those outside stimuli as things our bodies really need. For example, we may seriously think we NEED that extra handful of Christmas-colored M&Ms, but do we really? Here are five tips to help you keep your cravings at bay and encourage you to stay in tune with your body and answer it thoughtfully and with compassion.
- A craving often comes on because of low blood sugar, usually caused by not eating enough, skipping meals or eating foods that neglect to deliver enough nutrition to keep us satisfied. When we are spending our days running around shopping, cooking, baking and attending constant events, we tend to eat on the run. When we grab-and-go, we are limited in the scope of health, fresh foods, often leading us to that packaged, processed foods. Getting this burst of energy from whatever snack we happen to pick up at the corner deli is great in the short term, but it quickly leads to a sharp drop in blood sugar and leaves us feeling sluggish and hungry, compelling us to look for more quick energy sources, like candy or cookies. In order to keep your energy level steady, try preparing some snacks you can take with you, like fruit, nuts hard-boiled eggs or pre-sliced veggies with a little container of hummus, so you’ll have a stash you can draw from when you don’t have time to sit down to a meal.
- This time of year, you might feel like you need a Christmas miracle in order to get enough sleep. Winter is the season for hibernation and drawing inward to replenish and restore our bodies and minds. Remind yourself that your body requires rest, it’s not a special privilege reserved for a lucky few; we all deserve and should demand proper rest and relaxation. Take at least 30 minutes before going to bed to shut off the phone and computer, put down the to-do list and prepare your body for bed by doing some light stretches, deep breathing, meditation or simply reading a good book under the covers. All those things drawing your attention away from focusing on yourself and your physical needs will be there again when you wake up; remind yourself “I have all the time in the world to do everything I need to do.”
- While our bodies feel the need to contract and insulate during the colder months, it is important to balance those qualities with the opposite in our exercise routine. These heavy, contracting elements can take a toll on our bodies and minds, which can cause us to feel weighed down and depressed. Invite warmth, lightness and expansion into your approach to movement, helping to keep our spirits up and encouraging us to connect with others, rather than fall into the temptation of retreating into ourselves.
- With the plethora of delicious choices before us at the dinner table or the party buffet, it can be challenging to choose the foods that will be the most nourishing, while still enjoying all the treats we generally only get once a year. When filling up your plate, take small portions of your most favorite dishes so you’ll savor each bite and avoid stuffing yourself. If you really want a second helping, take about 10 minutes after you finish eating to evaluate how you feel, and if you still think you would enjoy that extra scoop of sweet potato casserole just as much as the first few bites, then go for it. After taking a few moments to reflect, chances are you’ll recognize you’re much more satisfied than you thought.
The holiday season is filled with so much joy and excitement, but we often get overwhelmed by the stresses of it and forget to relax and enjoy it. I encourage you to slow down and acknowledge all the beauty and positive energy that surrounds you, staying open to receive all the gifts the universe has to offer.
For more tips on how to stay happy and grounded all year round, contact me for a free consultation today! It makes a great gift as well 🙂
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