3 Tips To Help You Overcome The Holiday Season “Guilt”

Who struggles with shame after a holiday or a vacation where you’re off of your schedule, what you normally eat, etc.

I understand this feeling. It’s common, and if you struggle with it, you’re not alone. It’s so easy to slip into shame when you feel like you “failed” in some way. Whether that’s eating too much, eating the wrong foods, not working out enough, not handling family well, etc. Whatever that “failure” looks like or feels like for you can be so hard and start to feel very shameful. A lot of times this is escalated or worse around holidays or vacations because you’re not in your normal routine. You’re maybe around family more than normal, or you’re eating out more than normal, or maybe you just don’t get the movement in that you’re used to.

It’s easy to get out of your routine when you’re not in your normal environment, and getting out of your routine can start to bring on that shame.

So, if you struggle with this, first of all, please always know that you’re not alone. You are not the only one who struggles with these feelings. It’s a very normal/common feeling to experience. I have struggled with this so often in my life – especially when I was struggling with my eating disorder. I want to give you a few tips and reminders that have helped me, and that might help you as well the next time that you’re feeling this way.

These are for you the next time that you’re coming home or back to normal from either a holiday, a vacation, or just an “off” time in your life.

1. NO GUILT. Stop beating yourself up for what you did or didn’t do. You are allowed to take a break from working out. You are allowed to eat different foods than you normally do. You are allowed to enjoy your life. I know it’s so easy to feel guilty, but when you are feeling guilty, remind yourself of these truths. Just because you had one day or week or month of not eating as well as you want, or eating more than you think is okay, or not exercising enough…it does not mean that you are a failure. You are always enough. Even when you don’t feel like you are.

2. Stay consistent. Do things that make you feel good – physically and mentally – every single day. Whether that is for an hour or 10 minutes. Walk, workout, drink water, eat your favorite vegetable, meditate, get out in nature, scream into a pillow—whatever you need! Allow yourself to do the little things that make you feel good. It’s not about undoing what you feel like you did or catching up on what you didn’t do, but getting back to consistently feeling good. 

3. Get help. If you’re constantly or consistently struggling  with loving yourself, with making yourself a priority, with feeling guilty about what you eat, with  overthinking food, with mental health…get the help that you need. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. If you’re finding that every single out of routine thing is really difficult for you, it might be time to get the help that you deserve.

Again, remember that you are never alone. You are not the only one who struggles. And follow these few tips to help give yourself a little more love, compassion, and joy. As always, I am in your corner. And you are worthy of having a beautiful relationship with yourself and food!

Abby Horst

A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.

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