Surviving the Holidays: Staying Centered and Grounded

For many years, I would feel anxiety in the weeks leading up to a family event. My family is high energy and loud and I am really sensitive. Whether it was a birthday or some of the bigger holidays, any time we got together there was a high probability I would get overwhelmed. I would cope with this in the past by eating foods with lots of sugar and chocolate to help myself feel better. Then these foods would feed right back into, and contribute to, even more overwhelm and anxiety.

Many people turn to alcohol to manage these challenging situations. The thing these foods, refined sugar, chocolate and alcohol, have in common energetically is they bring our energy up and out in really strong ways. So when we eat them we can feel more removed from the feelings in our body. I have no doubt that this can be a short term way to cope, but it can also increase feelings of anxiety and being out of control and overwhelmed. Our energy is moving outward during a time when it would be really useful to stay grounded so we can think clearly and make decisions that are useful and responsive and not from a place of reactivity.

How about an experience of feeling more grounded and fully in your body?

When I started making the connection between the food I eat and how I feel I made some changes in the foods I eat during situations when I often feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Here are some strategies I put into place starting about three days before the event:

1. I reduce foods that have strong expansive energy, like chocolate, alcohol, strong refined sweeteners.

2. I reduce cold foods which contribute to tightness, which is the opposite of the warm, relaxed, centered and grounded feeling I want to create.

3. I add foods that nourish and relax my core, like creamy pureed soup.

4. I add more root vegetables which have a nice downward energy that can help me feel more rooted, bring energy down from my head and calm the anxiety a bit.

5. I make both blanched and steamed vegetables. Blanched vegetables have a relaxing balanced upward energy that can help release tension. Steamed vegetables aid to help bring our energy down in a more grounded way.

6. I eat nourishing bean dishes, especially soups. To help me feel deeply nourished in a relaxing way.

6. Be moderate with salt which can also create tension in the body.

My goal is to enter these situations feeling relaxed, centered and grounded, present and as fully in my body as I can.

When the anxiety and overwhelm is really high I have limited my time at the event to two hours. Other times I set an intention to go for a walk every few hours and especially after a meal.

I also bring food with me, along with a dessert that is going to support me. I developed my recipe for Sweet Potato Pie for this very reason.

Let me know if you try some of these tactics and how they work for you. I have many recipes here at sweetveg to support you and your body. I also have two mini cookbooks with holiday friendly recipes in my sweetveg shop: Recipes for Celebration and 12 Plant-Based Desserts.

Enjoy, Teresa

2 Responses

  1. Ing

    Hi, which kind of sweet potato are you teferring to? Maybe a photo would help.

    • Teresa

      Hi Ing.
      Are you asking about the sweet potato pie? If you click on the link it takes you to the recipe. Does that help?