Got the Holiday Fever? Manage Excessive Shopping and Eating with These Top Ten Strategies from Psychotherapist Edy Nathan

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Psychotherapist Edy Nathan, MA, LCSW-R discusses how excessive shopping and over-eating are intrinsic to celebrating the holidays, and ways to avoid the fallout.

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When the holidays have passed, what is left is a belt that won’t fit and over whelming credit card debt to be tackled.

It's a well-known fact that overindulgence occurs every year at this time. Acclaimed psychotherapist and grief counselor Edy Nathan challenges those who want physical - and fiscal health - to do things differently this year by controlling impulses to follow the crowd. Nathan states that, "When the dust settles, that is, the holidays have passed, what is left is a belt that won’t fit and over whelming credit card debt to be tackled. There is a sense of grief after all of the splurging that leads to the blues in the New Year.”

While managing the excesses can be difficult, planning ahead can help to keep focus on what is important. Imagine starting 2014 with a sense of ownership rather than gloom. These strategies are good for anyone who wants to enjoy the holidays without putting on those extra pounds and spending lavishly.

5 Strategies to Manage Excessive Shopping

1.    Decide what amount of money is for gifts, and spend only that amount.
2.    When shopping, fill the cart with everything, yes, everything desired- before checking out, look at what is really needed and what is not, discard what is not necessary. By doing this the brain has been satisfied and fulfilled while the pocketbook does not suffer.
3.    If money is tight, be creative and make something. Make a card rather than buying one- it is less expensive and more personally gratifying.
4.    Create a list of the purchases intended and who they are for, do not go outside of the list.
5.    If the lure of a sales persons’ pitch makes it hard to say “NO”, wear a rubber band around the wrist, snap it, say “stop it” and leave the store, if needed.

5 Strategies for Food Mindfulness

1.    Prepare food with less sugar and wheat. Fact: When more sugar and wheat are eaten, the greater the cravings.
2.    Wear a piece of clothing that is snug. When in a loose shirt or dress, it allows for greater excess and less awareness.
3.    Realize that there are choices to be made: imagine the desired sensations for the stomach and head after the holiday, keep focusing on the aftermath of over-indulgence: “Is this how I want to feel?”
4.    Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated will make it seem as if the stomach is full.
5.    Do some self-talk throughout the day. Check-in encourages awareness and control

While withdrawal is never easy, think about the rewards that can be created as a harbinger to success. Collude with the aspects that want to be healthy and not destructive! For more ammunition in the battle of the bulge watch Nathan's new video, "Holiday Excess: Eat. Buy. Be."

About Edy Nathan:

Edy Nathan is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in the integration of psychotherapy and the world of spirituality. For two seasons she was the therapist on the A&E TV Show, “Psychic Kids”. She holds Masters from both New York University and Fordham University. She has post-graduate training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, The Gestalt Center and the Jungian Institute. She is a certified EMDR practitioner, regression therapist, certified hypnotherapist and grief expert. To find out more, visit EdyNathan.com.

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