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Counseling Corner: Holiday celebrating without the guilt

American Counseling Assoc | 11/18/2018, 5:57 p.m.
The holidays are a fairly emotional time of the year for most of us. For some people, the holiday period ...
Stock photo The Dallas Examiner

American Counseling Assoc.

The holidays are a fairly emotional time of the year for most of us. For some people, the holiday period brings memories of warm family gatherings and happy times. For others, it may bring feelings of depression related to loved ones who have passed on, or simply of childhood memories and experiences that weren’t very pleasant.

While our memories and experiences of holidays past are not something we can change, we can try to ensure that the current holidays don’t add to any emotional burden we may already have.

That may sound complicated, but actually all it means is having a little more awareness of the emotions we face at this time of the year, and of taking a little more control of our lives and actions so that we don’t end up feeling bad about this year’s holiday season.

An easy starting point? Pay more attention to your food and drink intake.

Yes, Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties offer many opportunities to overindulge. But, you are the one in control of your actions and choices. Limiting yourself to one helping of dessert, or refusing Uncle Waldo’s constant offers of more wine, doesn’t mean that you’re depriving yourself, but rather simply enjoying the holiday in moderation.

And, most importantly, you won’t feel guilty the day after or face January with the problem of an expanded waistline. For most of us, the holiday period can be a stressful time. Your job is to try and be sensible and not add more anxiety and stress to what you may already be feeling.

That’s especially true when it comes to holiday parties. Yes, there are additional opportunities to be tempted by too much of too many wrong things to eat, but far too often the bigger problem is the opportunity to consume too much alcohol.

All it takes is one office party and one drink too many, and suddenly you’ve said or done something that you’ll not only regret the next day, but that may negatively affect your career.

Yes, you want to enjoy this holiday season, but it’s important to remember that you, at all times, are the one in control of you. Keeping your actions sensible and reasonable doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time, but hopefully can mean you won’t have anything to regret.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Comments and questions can be sent to acacorner@counseling.org or visit http://www.counseling.org.