Holiday Mind Mapping
Mentally preparing for the hardest (food) time of year
What is holiday mind mapping?
Mind mapping is really a fancy way to say brainstorming or writing out your thoughts. When thoughts and feelings are swarming around your mind, it can help to get pen to paper and write out what all is going on. What is really bothering you? What’s not as big of a deal as you thought it was?
Holiday mind mapping is what I’m calling this little worksheet I have put together to help prompt weight loss surgery patients to get thoughts and feelings about the holidays in writing.
You may find there are some things about the holidays you are not willing to give up. You may also find there are plenty of foods during the holidays that really aren’t as special to you as you may have thought in the past.
This little guide is meant to help prompt you as you consider the holidays.
What do the prompts mean?
You may find it hard to follow my thoughts so as a way of describing it more fully, this is my intention in the questions I have written.
Box One: The holidays would not be the same without (non-food items)
This question is meant to help bring to mind the things you love about the holidays that have nothing to do with food. It’s a great way to encourage you that the holidays really can be special without even mentioning the food yet!
Box Two: The holidays would not be the same without (food items)
This is where you can go ahead and put in the foods that you find very special at this time of year. The things that you think “but it’s the only time of year I can have this!” It’s okay to be honest and write them down. The next box is when you can determine if they stay or go.
Box Three: I’m not willing to give up
This is where your honesty will go even further and you can even give yourself permission to keep items that are special enough to you. You might find there are some things from box two that you don’t necessarily need to have every year.
Box Four: Limiting beliefs I have about the holidays
A limiting belief is something you believe to be true that limits you in some way. Members to this website shared examples such as “I don’t believe I can have fun at a party without enjoying the food” and “my limiting belief is that I need to try a bite of everything.”
You may have noticed hints of these thoughts when you filled out boxes two and three. If you find it hard to put what you are and are not willing to give up, you might feel a pull to give something up but you aren’t sure if you can. This might be a symptom of a limiting belief about the holidays.
Once you identify a limiting belief, you can push back on it and prove if it’s true or not.
Box Five: How I will keep the holidays from getting the best of me
This is the more practical side of things. For some it will be “planning ahead, especially for busy weeks.” For others it might be a conversation with a family member about changing expectations this year. It will be different for everyone but it’s essentially that “what are you goign to do” section.
Box Six: My action steps and when I will do them
This is a carry over from box five to have you go ahead and commit to the direct action you will take and when you will take it. “I will plan my meals on Sunday evenings and grocery shop on Mondays.”
There is no perfect formula, but here is a tip
If only you could stay home and not answer the phone for all of December. Even better, hop a plane to the Bahamas for the month. That’s one way to avoid the temptations of the season!
Mind mapping is a helpful too because there is not a set formula for how to handle the holidays. It is also not a pass-fail situation. In fact, avoid having the scale give you a grade on how you did. Enjoy the season for the greatest things it has to offer and do your best to not let the tempations get the best of you or over stress you.
It always come back to staying consistent.
The best tip I have for the holiday season is to stay consistent to your plan. Meet your body’s basic needs of water, consistent meals, physical activity and a consistent sleep pattern.
Yes, some days will be better than others because you’re human like the rest of us. Do your best to plan ahead and care for yourself, then forgive your mistakes and try again the next day. It’s all about the balance.
Wishing you and yours all my very best this holiday season!