christmas tree

The Ups & Downs of the Holidays

In the midst of the holiday bustle as we prepare for joyous times, we unfortunately face the added worries that accompany this time of the year. We bring out our famous family recipes, but then question how much we should indulge. We long to display our holiday decorations to make our homes festive and gay, while dreading the inevitable take-down. We rush to the stores with the anticipation of giving the gift of joy to our loved ones, crunching the numbers and stressing about going over budget. We make our calls and invites and look forward to upholding family traditions, while praying for sanity as we worry about meeting everyone’s (including our own) expectations.

The good news about all these things is we are in this together. Whether it is in honor of Ashura, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Bodhi Day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Kwanzaa, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Yalda, or the New Year, there is much preparation, celebration, and inevitable stress. This is why the Women’s Center has dedicated many articles in our publication, Voices Raised, to the topic of holidays over the years. Let us support you in the most joyous and trying time of the year by reminding you of your resources, some of which are available right in our resource library.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Women’s Center!

Helping Family and Friends with Eating Concerns Through the Holidays
1.  Respect autonomy: Allow them to opt out of family dinners, cooking responsibilities, and shopping for food so they can abide by their established routine.
2.  Avoid “fixing”: If you have a loved one with an eating disorder, let them enjoy a “holiday” [free from discussing their eating habits].
3.  Shift the focus: Consider ways to pull the focus of the holidays away from food […] and put it back on relaxation and fun.
—Chris Humpage, Ph.D.
Issue 26 – December ‘09

10 Tips to Help Your Weight Stay Steady
1. Keep your normal exercise routine.
2. Eat regularly.
3. Be choosy about the holiday treats you eat.
4. Emphasize lean cuts of meat.
5. Start a food diary.
6. Watch your alcohol intake.
7. Get enough rest.
8. Take time to distress and relax.
9. Nurture your spiritual side.
10. The holidays only have a few holiDAYS, not weeks. Eat normally the rest of the days and enjoy the few truly special days.
—Mary Buchwalder, M.D.
Issue 22 – December ‘08

Avoiding the Holiday Stress with Your Family
– Be realistic.
– Be clear about your own expectations.
– Avoid the “all or nothing” attitude.
– Remember the Reason for the Season.
—Jeanne Zeek
Issue 18 – December ‘07

Minimize Your Holiday Pitfalls
– Perfection does not exist!
– Stick to a budget.
– Navigate the family.
– Learn to say no.
—Tari Mellinger, Ph.D.
Issue 14 – December ‘06

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