Thanksgiving has now officially come and gone. Whether you’re out hunting down the best “Black Friday” deals or sprawled out on the couch you’re officially over the first holiday hump. Though I hope the day was joyful for you, I also recognize that grief, loneliness and anxiety can be common emotions that come up during holidays like Thanksgiving. If this was the case, you are not alone.
I want to use this short post to check-in about some thoughts people typically have after Thanksgiving and see if we can provide you some space to acknowledge them and meet them with curiosity and kindness.
1. Do you feel guilty about your eating from yesterday?
I’m sending you so much compassion if you feel this way AND also want to remind you that guilt is NOT an ingredient in any of the foods you ate. Diet culture convinces us we should feel “guilty” for eating “bad” foods and praised for eating “good” foods. I’m here to remind you that food has absolutely no moral value. You did nothing bad or wrong. You simply celebrated a holiday.
2. Do you feel physically uncomfortable from eating past fullness?
This is a completely natural reaction to holidays – a time when we get to have all kinds of seasonal food and enjoy them in the company of others. We may eat past fullness (because none of us are robots). Again, you did nothing wrong. Take some deep breaths, sit with discomfort and know that this too will pass. In the meantime, you can also try talking to a friend on the phone, meditating, coloring, watching a movie, reading, going for a walk etc.
3. Are you thinking about compensating for yesterday’s meal by restricting what you eat today?
Don’t. Just because you ate what you may perceive to be “more” yesterday, does not mean that you do not need to eat today. Your body deserves to be nourished consistently and fully. What you ate yesterday should not deprive your body today, in this moment. You wouldn’t tell a child to just skip breakfast after Thanksgiving – so why are you telling yourself that?
4. Are you thinking about compensating for yesterday’s meal by engaging in high-intensity exercise?
If your exercise is tied to “making up” for a meal then it’s actually not healthy in the slightest. It’s OK if the day after a big holiday your body is calling for rest. Listen to it. There’s nothing that needs to be “burned off” or compensated for. Your body is busy keeping you alive – let it.
I hope this check-in helps you to recognize some potentially unhelpful thoughts you may be experiencing and gives you the space and permission to release them. May your day be filled with rest, peace and leftover turkey sandwiches!