Proud2Bme | Stress Less This Holiday Season

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Stress Less This Holiday Season

By Chinh Tran--The holiday season can easily become a stressful time for anyone, with all the dinner parties, shopping, family reunions, and New Year’s resolutions.

The flurry of activities going on can be particularly overwhelming for those struggling with weight, eating disorders, and body image issues because of all the attention to big meals, diet talk, and weight loss resolutions. Here are some helpful and healthy tips for the holiday season that will guide you into a happy new year.

* Create a stress-reduction plan. Being around loved ones and finding a time to complete all your holiday tasks can be stressful, so it’s important to think of healthy activities that can help ease your tension and anxiety. For example, taking a 30-minute break to read a book when you’re feeling overwhelmed can help you feel more relaxed once you need to return to the scenario at hand.

* Promote a fat-talk-free holiday. Talk of overeating, dieting, and counting calories and grams of fat often come up during the holidays, but taking a stand against it will help you feel empowered. Move away from fat talk by preparing a sentence that you can use when it comes up in conversations. For example, you can say “I’d rather not discuss weight and food, but I’d really love to hear about ________” (fill in the blank with anything that interests you). Find a way to refocus the conversation and still allow yourself to connect with those around you in a positive way.

* Last, but definitely not least, remember to take time for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of excitement happening around you, but don’t forget to take a breather to remind yourself of all the great things going on in your life that you’re grateful for and all the things that you’re looking forward to next year. It may be useful to write these down, so you can always have something positive to look at if you start feeling stressed.

Focusing on our flaws or the food on the table in front of us may cause us to lose sight of the beautiful moments we share with the people in our lives. Families and friends coming together to celebrate the holiday season happens only once a year for some, so make the best of it by treasuring the fun times and lasting traditions you’ll be creating with your loved ones this holiday season.

Remember, you are NOT ALONE. If you find that the holiday stress gets to be too much, reach out for support. You can connect with other Proud2Bme members in our forums or call the NEDA toll-free helpline at 1-800-931-2237 to talk to someone who can help.

More Resources:

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday

Project HEAL founders Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffron share their holiday advice in this video they created for Proud2Bme members.

Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Even though Thanksgiving is over, these tips apply to any holiday where food, family and stress take center stage.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

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