How to Recover from Holiday Overindulgence

We live in a culture of excess. We overdo food, entertainment, material goods, stimulation, and even work. We are in a constant state of running-on-empty, and of over-use. The exhaustion, stress, and overall tip of the scale can leave us empty, stuffed, and low in energy.

We’ve all heard the expression, everything is okay in moderation. Moderation doesn’t mean that we eat less cookies and exercise more, it just means finding ways to practice limits more consistently and with the intention to feel balanced, healthy, and energized. It is important to feel joy and pleasure, I mean, that is what the Holiday season is all about! However, it is also important to practice self-restraint to make sure we are not out of harmony with our true nature, or our neutral state. It can be difficult to sometimes discern what our body and mind need versus what the mind is telling us. Once you begin to recognize when you feel exhausted, stressed, or full, you can begin to trace back to what you’ve overindulged on, and then practice restraint in the future.

Holidays and celebrations often come with overindulgence. When we indulge during the winter months, it is easy to over-do foods, drinks, gifts, and even hours awake. In order to reverse overindulgence, we need to find some ways to cleanse the body and clear the mind and get our balance back!

Evaluate your goals

Keep it real. Pick your categories that need work. Have you ate too many cookies? If so, choose to not indulge in sugar for a few weeks, or a few months. Have you been watching a lot of television? If so, choose to not watch television or engage in entertainment for a few weeks, or a few months.

Think about the areas in your life where you over-indulge and make small, intentional choices and stick to them! This is always easier said than done, so make sure you’re goals are practical-never set a high bar, more often than not you will fail, and ultimately feel guilty.

Find a health buddy

healtyh buddy

Do you have a friend or family member that also struggles with overindulgence? Great! Try to partner up with someone to nail down a healthy habit or pick a detox plan to complete with. Buddies are motivating, and also a shoulder to lean on when things get tough. The only challenging part about relying on a health buddy to stick to your decided-upon goals is that they might not be as serious about the challenge. Pick your health buddy and ask them their goals before sharing your own. Make sure you both are on the same page, and are realistic about how to attain the goals.

Reflect on your choices

Take the time to think through each choice you make related to reversing your overindulgence. The best way to be true to yourself and find balance is to think about your day and what choices you made. Did my choices align with my goals to find more balance? Do I need to reassess my goals? Am I happy? All of these questions are importance in order to adjust and scale your restraints as your life continues to move forward.

Give yourself praise


Create milestones and celebrate. When you’ve had a smoothie, smile at your healthy choice. When you’ve put down the remote control, smile at your healthy choice. Praise is good! It will make you feel more excited about your goals.

Drink water

Oh yes, the more water you have, the more likely you are to flush out your stomach and cleanse your organs-particularly the liver, for those of us that had one too many cocktails! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of liquids like tea, carbonated water, kombucha, and other drinks that will help alleviate and simmer your stomach.

Turn your meals into mostly veggies

veggie meal

Colorful foods like carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and beets can drastically alter your mood, your stomach, and your diet! Eat the vegetable raw or slightly steamed. This way, you’re likely to get the nutrients from the vegetables that your body needs to replenish and heal.

Go for a walk or take a cardio class

Get your body moving! For more people, reversing their Holiday indulgences means working towards increasing healthy activities and reducing sedentary activities. Even if you don’t feel strong or motivated, the first step is showing up. Don’t think twice and roll out of bed and get to your favorite exercise class, or call a friends and go for a long walk. Get fresh air or sweat it up. You’ll feel better, and won’t regret the opportunity to move your body this winter season.

Learn something new

Sit down and get absorbed in a book or listen to a podcast. New knowledge or lessons can motivate us mentally and get us thinking about how to be our best selves, and reverse limits. As well, the more you get out of the overindulgence routine of sleeping in late and opening up the fridge every morning, the more you’ll be able to embrace change and healthier habits. The book, story, or bit of knowledge doesn’t have to be highly intellectual, it just has to be inspiring.

learn something new

Practice restraint in order to work against over indulgence. Think about your life in terms of a balance scale: Sleep, Food, Exercise, Work, and Nourishment. Whatever the categories are, rate them on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the least you think you commit to that category, and 10 being the most you commit to that category. Look at the categories that have a high score in, and see if you can set limitations in the higher-commitment categories in order to put more energy, time, and care into the categories with low-commitment scores.

Don’t let the Holidays be the only available time to practice restraint to reverse overindulgence. Let balance pour into your day to day life by learning to indulge less, and set limits more. Ultimately, you’ll feel better and live well.

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