From Triggers to Tools in 10 Weeks #7 – Ignoring Your Own Needs

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The holidays can be full of triggers, so we’ve devoted one weekly email to help you deal with the most common ones. Click here for previous posts or subscribe to receive them by email.

The trigger: Ignoring your own needs

For some people, this is a year-round habit. For others, it pops up or gets worse during the holiday season because you may be spending more time with your loved ones and there is just so much to do.

When faced with a full schedule and overflowing to-do list, your own needs for healthy food, rest, and movement can get bumped right off the page. Yet when you compromise on these things, it can wear you down physically, mentally and emotionally. The next thing you know, you’re feeling resentful towards the very people you thought you were helping; and you’re having trouble dredging up the energy or motivation to keep going.

In this depleted state, the temptation of holiday foods and other triggers can lead you quickly towards unhealthy eating patterns and obsessive thinking or right back into a full-blown eating disorder.

The tool: Make your needs equal to everyone else’s

So many of my clients would do anything for anyone else but will put themselves last. On your way to the gym and a child calls needing a ride? There goes today’s healthy movement activity.

The good news is this doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to put them first and yourself last; you can all be on the same level. Instead of forfeiting your exercise completely, take that child for a quick walk in the park, or park farther away from your next destination so you can get a walk in that way.

Or make a deal with that child to take on a extra chore or errand another day so you can do a healthy movement activity of your choice.

Making this a regular practice will serve as a wonderful model to any young people in your life, and the grownups who need to learn this lesson too. By making your needs equal to everyone else’s, you will have more to give, not just in this season of giving, but all year round.

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