5 Tips for Staying Healthy & Surviving Holiday Overwhelm

3 Minute Read: How to stop feeling overwhelmed, minimize anxiety and optimize self-care this holiday.

The holidays are full of fun stuff: connections with loved ones, family traditions, twinkly lights, paleo Christmas cookies ;).

They are also a time of anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness and overwhelm. Sound familiar?

Expectations run high…as healthy routines fall by the wayside. Make this year different with these 5 Tips for Staying Healthy During Holidays.


For many of my clients making changes in how they eat, live and feel, the holidays are a mixed blessing.

Sure, they’re an occasion for creating joyous moments and memories with loved ones…AND for more pressure coming from within and without.

When you’re trying so hard to shift really big things…only to have family, friends, society and social media pressure you to do otherwise (whether subtly or with a sledgehammer ;), how can holidays be anything BUT overwhelming and stressful!?

I So Get This brand of holiday overwhelm. I also have full-on aversion to excess being the focal point of holidays. I mean, really? Is THIS what we’re celebrating?

The holidays offer collective justification and pressure for "bad behaviour." I don't mean it's "bad" as a value judgement. But it will make people feel bad...and disconnected with self and others.

Plus, it's often dishonest and even inflictive – as though THIS is what holidays "should" be about, and if you’re not with us, you’re against us.

That's bullshit justification for choosing to do, buy and eat all the things (plus pressuring others to do the same).

To make this holiday season different, here’s what you do.

5 Tips for Staying Healthy & Surviving Holiday Overwhelm

1. Protect your physical and mental health.

Wrap yourself in an invisible, protective blanket. You can see out – allowing for true connection with others – but it keeps you, your choices and your sovereignty safe.

It helps you follow through on your responsibility as the Number 1 Custodian of your wellness, mental state and commitment to self-care.

Sound hocus-pocus? Trust. It truly does work. Really visualize wrapping it around your shoulders before tricky, sticky, triggering interactions. 

2. Let go of agendas and expectations.

Protected in this way, also stay curious and open. Go in without an agenda and without expectations. Literally strike expectations and to-dos from your list.

In your heart, hold the intention to connect to self and others. Any other good stuff is extra and extra-appreciated. Celebrate it without expecting it.

3. Drop the guilt and responsibility story.

Rather than feel responsible or guilty when asked to do a thing you’re not up for, ask yourself: What is my capacity to respond right now?

Say No when that’s what you mean, whether to attending or hosting a gathering…buying something…or putting stuff in your mouth.

4. Shift from consumption to creation.

Rather than do, buy and eat all the things, ask yourself: What experience and value am I offering myself and others?

How do I want to feel afterwards? How is my consumption (whether of food or stuff) affecting my body…my mind…others…and the planet?

5. Practice gratitude.

Savour the little things. Notice and give thanks for them. When it comes to anxiety, stress, anger and depression, gratitude truly is one of the most powerful antidotes I know.

Then, come holiday detox, two things.

Start simple: Go slow. Move each day. Sleep eight hours each night. Return to the basics in terms of eating real, whole, simple foods...and your why of living healthy. 

Ask yourself: How do you want to feel? What choices support that? What choices make you feel good?

If your holiday has been extra-indulgent, things may not return to “normal” overnight. That’s okay. Don’t add extra pain through judgement and doomsday talk. If you stick with real, whole, simple food for just one week, you'll already feel totally different. And way better.

Oh, and if you’re traveling for the holidays, check these 5 Healthy Eating Tips for Travellers too.

Photos by Kira Auf Der Heide, Unsplash

Photos by Kira Auf Der Heide, Unsplash


Support makes creating a healing way of eating + living much easier.

If you’re looking for that, I offer two avenues for personalized support and accountability: The Foundation and The Deep Dive.

For free support, also check out my ebooks and newsletter.

Wishing you a beautiful, healthy holiday season!

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