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Look What’s Coming!

Ok, we have had Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur , and Sukkot. What is next?

Yesterday, WHO declared, was World Mental Health Day! And I thought, “Boy, my mental health can use an improvement.”  And then I thought “This is the beginning of the end of the year and the start of a new year.”  After 2020, I don’t think the world will ever be the same. But walk with me through this:

October 12 was Columbus Day

October 28 is national I Love You Day

October 31 is Halloween

November 1 Daylight Savings Time ends

November 3 is the Presidential Election

November 11 is Veteran’s Day

November 26 is Thanksgiving

December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day

December 10 begins Hannukah

December 25 is Christmas

December 31 is New Year’s Eve.

Now it is January 1, 2021

These are serious holiday times in the United States. We have the chaos, laughter, joy and candy of Halloween, the seriousness of the Presidential election, and Veterans Day. Thanksgiving is usually a big family time and food time.  Then comes the sorrow of Pearl Harbor day, Then Hannukah and rededicating ourselves, then Christmas – a holiday of joy and love, and finally the fresh start of a new year.

My question is, what do you want New Years Day to be like for you and your loved ones – and your body and your food? As I see it, you have three choices: take the steps that are needed to keep you safe and abstinent through these holidays; or spend this time struggling, going back and forth, on and off your food plan, feeling guilty and like a failure; or give it up and binge till next year.

What’s your choice?

First off, these holidays require lots of planning, preparation, and boundary building. At the end of this crazy year, I feel overwhelmed by the things that need to be done, and the things I haven’t done, or did badly. It all feels so overwhelming to me and to my clients.

First, let’s plan care for you.  We need structure, self-care, and stability. Plan your support groups and your support people. If you have step work to be done or other things to clear up, do it now and get it out of the way. Set yourself up with a new and intensive spirituality program and an exercise program you can maintain; they will hold you together in the hardest of times.

Now let’s start with a fresh calendar. First, I don’t believe there will be Black Friday as there have been in other years. There will be a lot more internet shopping and much less availability of popular products. If there are things you buy every year, that are not perishable, get them now. If some family members expect you to provide certain items, pick them up as soon as you see them.

Schedule the doctor, the dentist, the hairdresser, the nailcare people now, so you will have the right things at the right time.  Keep in mind that some people are limiting how many people can be in their shop at one time.

Does your family get yearly pictures? Is the studio even open?

When you are writing your grocery list, buy extra of the foods you always need and of the foods that help you with your food plan. Buy the napkins, paper plates, masks, and sanitizers now.

Clear out your house. Get rid of the foods and items that trigger you. Wrap up your stash of food flavored candles, potions, and lotions for gifts and put them someplace you cannot smell them. Have a long and serious conversation with the people you love and the people you eat with about your food plan. Give them fair warning about what your plans and needs will be. Ask for help.

Set aside time for joy. What have you always loved about the holidays? Make a list. Schedule enough time to have the things you really enjoy.

Take a walk in the park and enjoy the leaves changing color.

Make time to see your best friends peacefully.

Who else do you need to see or talk to?

I am going to make the assumption that you are going to make the choice to come to the New Year free and in a place of freedom from food obsession. So, each week from now till the new year, this blog will start with food stuff: label reading, weighing and measuring, etc.

At the end of the blog there will be a paragraph or two for those of you who are working on staying abstinent till New Year’s Day. I hope everyone will enjoy this. Please send me questions and comments. I want to know what problems you expect and how you intend to handle them. I need to know if you are interested in discussing this. If no one replies, I will assume you have it all together and do not need my help. So I will stop this offer. If you want  to discuss these issues, send me a question or a concern, or something you enjoy, so I know you are there.

Blessings and joy to you,

Theresa

4 Responses to Look What’s Coming!

  1. Sherri S. October 13, 2020 at 11:40 am #

    Hello, Theresa,

    As always you really hit the mark. I am worried about my abstinence over the holidays for the emotions that the holidays bring up for me (and everyone else, I am sure). How will the holidays be this year? It won’t be the same as other years…..will there still be a sense of isolation to some degree?.
    There is always a certain amount of old grief that comes up for people who aren’t here any more, etc. How do I intend to handle them?—I am not sure.
    So, more than the food it is the emotions that arise that I dread, frankly.
    Thank you for these great blogs,

    Sherri S.

    • H. Theresa Wright October 17, 2020 at 2:58 pm #

      Thanks for writing. Grief of all kinds is especially difficult at holiday time. We often use the food to cover up feelings; when the food is not there the feelings come up and need to be dealt with.I’ll be discussing this and sending strategies in the next blog

  2. Cari Heumann October 14, 2020 at 10:27 pm #

    Great blog, Theresa!
    Please know that I am here, I read all of your blogs, and I am interested in what you have to say. I like your idea of putting paragraphs at the end of the blogs discussing some of the issues that people struggle with throughout the holiday season. For myself, I suspect I could struggle this year with the inability to celebrate in the ways I am used to. Each year, I normally enjoy going to various places, doing special things, and seeing lots of people around the holidays. This year will be different for obvious reasons. I will have to come up with new “special” non-food related things to do. I do not want boredom, disappointment or anything else to trigger any food thoughts or old patterns. This would be my biggest worry for the upcoming holiday season. The old me would have just said: “Well, eff it, let’s just make some cookies”. Nope, not gonna happen now. I have been in recovery for over 7 years and I want that to continue! But I would like to be proactive, avoiding any potential triggers and cravings. Triggers and cravings are no fun! Off the top of my head, I plan to do a few things I don’t normally do: keep a journal with holiday blessings and lessons, really taking my time watching all of the holiday movies with my husband and daughter (that we typically just rush through), perhaps play more board games, record some Christmas music (I love to sing and I will be in my glory with that!!). In any case, I can always use the extra support. This will be our first Christmas during a pandemic along with a whole lotta civil unrest!

    • H. Theresa Wright October 17, 2020 at 2:54 pm #

      Thank you! I agree this will be a very difficult and very different holiday season!

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