This is my very own best advice to you for surviving the family holiday gatherings! (If you are blessed enough to have one of those families/in-laws where everyone gets along splendidly and is joyous and sharing…you can skip this post and go start baking!)
1. FOOD. Are you a healthy eater, but the rest of your clan has not gotten the memo? Plan ahead! If you can, bring two dishes that you have made- with your ingredients, following your own guidelines. This way you will definitely have something to eat that you won’t have to worry about. Also, you can share your healthy cooking with others- maybe they will be so impressed, they will take a cue from you! I suggest one of the dishes be a dessert! That way you can still indulge in a sweet- but, without the worry of hydrogenated oils, hormone filled eggs, refined flour and sugars, etc. I always bring a big salad and a healthy dessert! If I eat nothing else- I’ve had enough!
2. CENTER YOURSELF. Oooooooommm. For real. You know who you are and what you’re about, right? So- it really doesn’t matter if your snarky sis-in-law makes another backhanded comment to you. That is all about her! Don’t engage in anyone’s personal drama. You be YOU, and don’t take other people’s issues personally. It doesn’t do anything productive for you. Smile at her, nod your head, walk away… Then take some deep centering breaths and find someone interesting to talk with.
3. MOVE. Worrying about all that food you ate? Worrying about all that sitting around with the family? Worrying about more sitting around and eating tomorrow? Stop worrying- get out of your head…get moving. And you don’t have to worry further about no gym- here are some other ideas. Clean the kitchen for the host- they will LOVE you! Get the whole family to go for a walk! Play the Wii with the kids! Turn up the music and get everyone dancing (warning: this is for fun families only). Do some jumping jacks outside in the brisk. Run if you can. Who cares- just move. It will make you feel better.
4. BE POSITIVE. Having a bad day/week/month? Don’t bring yourself down- and everyone else- by complaining about it. Use this time of camaraderie to uplift yourself. For what it’s worth- they’re your family! Enjoy what you can, so that you feel rejuvenated by the visit!
5. GRATITUDE. Don’t forget to give thanks. If you have a family to gather with, and nice food to eat…what really do you have to complain about. This is just, quite truthfully, a lot more than a lot of people have. Make a nice holiday tradition by taking turns saying aloud what each of you are thankful for. Or, better yet- maybe the whole family could get involved in giving (like volunteering at a soup kitchen, or everyone bringing a bag of clothes to donate to a charity). ‘Tis the season!!