Holiday Parties: The Land Of Guilty Excess + 4 Ways To Change The Terrain

Posted December 2, 2012 by Melissa Foster in Life After Five

Holiday parties are quintessential grounds for empty excess. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, AND I also know that you get what it means 🙂 The combination of overstimulation, superficial conversation, free flowing drinks, and gourmet food can lead to feeling drained and empty.

Sometimes (let’s be honest), the food is the only thing at certain holiday parties that we are even remotely looking forward to.

Well, this article has nothing to do with dieting or calories or rules or etiquette. This article is about unconscious behavior, the social settings where we unwittingly go rampant, and the inside work that will help you create what you genuinely want this holiday season.

Here are a few tips to get you on track to truly creating what you want during holiday festivities…

Get Clear About Going:  If it’s Not an Absolute YES, it’s a NO!

Most of us get an invite and automatically mark it down on the calendar without asking ourselves if we really want to go. Not going to a party or event doesn’t mean that we are saying no to anything. It may very well mean that you are saying YES to YOU! And that is a beautiful thing!

Don’t forget YOU this season. Maybe you need a night of downtime. Maybe you have things that you would like to get done and that would be a great night to finish things up. Or maybe deep down you just don’t want to go. Honor YOU.   

I’ve said “no” to more social invitations that I ever thought I would in the last few years and it makes the “yes” parties much more fun and meaningful.

Anchor Yourself in Consciousness

We all know how easy it can be to slip in to an unconscious mode. You know, that foggy mode where when you eat, you’re all of a sudden stuffed, and wondering how in the hell you got there!?

Yeah, that’s what we want to avoid. Because then you’re not only full, uncomfortable, and sloth-like, but there is a tendency to beat yourself up for it.

Don’t even go there. Nothing good comes from that. EVER.

Decide to stay conscious at the party or gathering. A little more on this in the next section too…

Prevent the Pig Out: Savor EVERY Bite

Before you choose what you’re going to eat, scope things out. What looks REALLY good?

Decide to have a taste of the food that looks over-the-top delicious. Just start there.

Savor every single bite of food that you put in your mouth. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly before swallowing. ENJOY it.

One way to practice this is to pay close attention to detect all the different flavors that are in what you are eating. What exactly do you taste?

After you finish eating, check in with yourself to see if you’re still hungry. Think of hunger as a scale
of  -10 to +10.  -10 is FAMISHED. +10 is STUFFED. Zero is neutral.

Try to constantly stay between -2 and +2. (I love this tool.)

Sometimes, there’s something in us that wants to keep eating beyond what we need, BUT: YOU are anchored conscious (remember the intention that you set?), so just notice that you want to keep eating even though you aren’t hungry for food and be fascinated with it:

“Huh, that’s interesting that I want to keep shoveling in these stuffed mushrooms even though I’m not hungry anymore.”

Sounds cheesy, but this is how it works. You either consciously notice or you don’t. And when your behavior, actions and thoughts go unnoticed, you don’t have control. It’s impossible to have control over something that you are unaware of.

Once you acknowledge that you’re not hungry, put your fork down and fully focus on the next tip…

Engage and Enjoy

Engage in conversation with the people around you. Ask them questions and be interested. Make it a point to enjoy people at this party. Take delight in other people and what they’re up to. Relax and have lots of fun being totally present and alive.

And depending on where you are – the people watching could be wicked. Soak it all up!


So, CHEERS! To a season of handpicked holiday events you’ll be super clear about before you even step foot into the celebration!


About the Author

Melissa Foster

A productivity consultant for startups founders and entrepreneurs, Melissa Foster is on a mission to help her clients and readers create flow in their lives... and get big things done. A certified life coach, Melissa's hyper-focused, energetic approach is coupled with wisdom, warmth, and wit. You can get more from Melissa by visiting her website.