Avoiding the Holiday Overwhelm that Often Leads to Overeating

The closer we get to the holidays the longer our to-do lists get. Sometimes it might even feel like our lists are happening TO us. And those lists are aggressive too, right!? 

Does yours sound anything like this? … Buy the gifts. Plan the trip. Research recipes. Make the cute craft. Move the Elf on the Shelf. Decorate. Book pictures with Santa. Mail out holiday cards. Host the annual party.

It is a literal full-time job.

Then throw on top of it – your kids get sick, you get sick, and your mother-in-law makes a rude comment… not to mention the work deadline you totally forgot about.

​Often we accidentally and subtly think the solution is a bite of peppermint bark here and there or the entire tin of holiday popcorn (like omg “why am I even eating the caramel popcorn section, I don’t even like the caramel popcorn section!!!”). We seek food because we need a little relief. We need a little reward.

But this solution doesn’t REALLY solve our problem.

Instead, it leaves us feeling even worse, with regret AND a sugar hangover AND something else to add to our list: lose the holiday weight.

The ACTUAL solution is EDITING YOUR TO DO LIST. ​Here is how:

  • Write down what you “have” to do. Every. Single. Thing.
  • Cross off the things you don’t want to do. Really. Try it.
  • Don’t do them. I’m serious.
  • Feel your feelings from not doing things you normally do. Warning: This part will be uncomfortable. You may feel bad to disappoint someone. Remember: you already feel bad. Choose the discomfort that gets you the result you want!
  • Let people think what they want about you. And have your own back. This part also might feel uncomfortable.
  • Remind yourself you get to do whatever you want. You do not have to follow societal rules. You have been conditioned to put everyone’s needs and wants ahead of your own. But it is not serving you. 
  • Notice that you didn’t die. How crazy is that?! You don’t die when you don’t do the things you usually do. Or what people expect you to do. Notice you are free. #freethemoms
  • Cross off “to-do list” and put “to choose list.” Everything on this list should be something you are choosing on purpose. You should like your reasons for having chosen what is on this list.
  • Never say “have to” again.
  • ​Have fun with what is on your list. Enjoy it. Remember you are choosing it! If you can’t get out of it (of course you can), then get into it!

Does all of this feel like too much? Or wild and reckless? Are you picturing a total explosion in your household? 

Start small. Pick just ONE THING that you don’t want to do and cross it off your list. Then pay attention – did anyone even notice? MOST importantly: how do you feel? I promise you will blow your own mind.

​​It is time that you create the holiday season that YOU want. That serves you. It is your turn mama, but you have to be willing to be the one to take it.

​I hope you and yours have the best holiday season ever!

About the Author

Laura Conley is a certified Life + Weight Loss Coach and the host of the Yummy Mummy Podcast. She is on a maniacal mission to #freethemoms from diet culture and food drama. Laura helps mamas who have been desperately struggling with diet drama to lose weight for the last time and free themselves from food forever. She wants to help mamas do this so that they can pass down a beautiful legacy to their children around food and bodies, weigh what they want, and live the life they have always dreamed of without the weight in the way. She does this by coaching her clients on how to balance their hunger hormones, rewire their brains, handle emotions, inner and outer accountability, and “FUN- LOVE.” You can learn more at her website here or on Instagram and TikTok.


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