Managing family-induced stress

Dec. 28, 2012 @ 08:11 PM

Big family gatherings often come with a filling meal and a side of stress. If spending an extended period of time with your loved ones leaves you in a not-so-loving mood, use the strategies from the Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge to keep a healthy outlook.

Be up front about your health goals. Relatives sometimes have a way of making you feel like you should be stuffing yourself at each meal. Explain to the big-portion pushers that you want to savor each delicious bite and not overdo it this season. Loading your plate with a second serving of stuffing will not help you reach your health goals, but some relatives won’t let you off the hook. Sometimes it’s not worth a fight. If all else fails, take a deep breath, let your aunt put that extra potato on your plate, and feed it to Fido when she’s not looking.

Carve out a few minutes for yourself. If your family is pushing your buttons, take a short walk to get away from the hustle and bustle for a bit. Just 10 minutes of fresh air might be all that you need to regain appreciation for your family’s quirks. When you get back you’ll be ready to join in the fun again.

Focus on the positive. Whether they show it in the most appropriate way or not, you are around people who love you. Find common ground and reminisce about the good ol’ days. If all else fails, keep in mind that every holiday gathering comes to an end eventually!

For more information about the Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge, visit: