How Should You Handle Eating This Holiday Season – With Your Mental Health in Mind?

With Thanksgiving coming up and it being holiday season, many families all across the United States fly to meet up with one another for lots of food and celebration. Many people consider this a time to indulge in food and drink, leaving many people to take steps back in their health, fitness, and recovery goals. If you’re planning on meeting up with loved ones this holiday season, be sure to set some guidelines for your diet so that you don’t go overboard. Previous research has shown that what you eat can greatly affect your mental health and, with lots of relatives and friends nearby, you want to make sure you’ve got the mental energy and clarity that you need.

Throughout this holiday season, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast, potentially one that includes yogurt, fruit, and a granola bar so that your mind and body have the energy they need to keep you focused and alert
  • Try to limit your caffeine intake as well as sugary drinks, as either of these can spark anxiety and increase risk of panic attack if you’re working on managing your anxiety
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day – not only will this reduce your chances of experiencing fatigue, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, constipation and more, but it may also help you in eating moderate amounts of food
  • At your family/friend gathering, try to grab some delicious foods that are good for you – vegetables, nuts, fish, fruits, whole grains and dishes prepared with unsaturated fat (such as with olive oil) are great options
  • If you don’t already, be sure to start taking daily vitamins. These typically have a lot of the nutrients that your body needs to stay fully energized each day.

The American Heart Association also recommends planning when you’ll eat, eating only when you’re hungry, slowing down your eating sessions, and keeping a food diary are great ways to keep track of what you’re eating this holiday season and how it’s affecting your mental health. If you’re ready to kick your recovery into gear, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about options for your needs. It’s never too late!