Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

The Health Benefits of Loving Yourself

Woman holding heart balloons

Valentine’s Day may be commercialized and over-hyped. For some it’s an obligatory gift-giving day, for others it’s a reminder of a broken heart or an unclear relationship status. But for those who do choose to celebrate, the holiday is an occasion to recognize love in all its forms.

This Valentine’s week, we’re exploring love in the context of the relationships we have with ourselves. Like other types of love, self-love is an action we practice and develop, one cultivated through self-compassion. And self-compassion bestows physical and mental health benefits worth celebrating in this season of love and beyond.

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Out with the Old: Revolutionizing Resolutions

City scene with fireworks at night

Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat “healthy.”

These resolutions seem as synonymous with the New Year as the midnight ball drop and fireworks display. Amid popping corks and clinking glasses, we hear the same tired promises each turn of the calendar year, as if they’re verses in “Auld Lang Syne” themselves.

As New Year’s marks the passage of time, so too it shows our sociocultural pressures and values. In the most popular resolutions, we see society’s expectations—the “goods” and goals worth pursuing in the name of personal betterment.

In a culture preoccupied with weight and food, it is no surprise that New Year’s resolutions frequently reflect these obsessions. Striving to lose weight—arguably the most popular resolution each year—is to affirm our cultural fixation on thinness and view of weight loss as a universal good. And while exercise and eating patterns can indeed influence health, many resolve to make these changes with the primary or sole goal of losing weight. Weight is mistaken as a proxy for health.

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Giving Thanks for What Our Bodies Allow Us to Do

A man extends his arms in gratitude.

Thanksgiving is more than turkey and trimmings. At The Emily Program, we’re celebrating the holiday by thanking our bodies for all the ways they protect, defend, and care for us.

We hope these quotes and poems help inspire gratitude for your body as well.

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Eating Disorder Recovery during the 4th of July

American flag and fireworks

Holidays are often a challenging time for those struggling with an eating disorder or those in eating disorder recovery. With the added emphasis placed on food and celebration, those afflicted with disordered eating may feel ostracized or struggle to cope with the circumstances. If you find yourself at odds with the holidays, here are five ways you can work to reframe them as positive experiences.

1. Embody True Holiday Spirit

The definition of a holiday is, “A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.” While not all folks are exempt from work during the holidays, everyone can use the date to celebrate in a way that makes sense for them or they can find a recreational activity to participate in. These moments of festivity and recreation can be big or small—from setting aside 10 minutes in the morning to reflect on our freedom to celebrating with a big group of friends—it’s important to celebrate in a way that is authentic and uplifting to you. 

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Bringing Mindfulness to Your Meals

Girl eating nachos

As we come out of the busy holiday season it can be a good time to slow down and bring attention and awareness back to our food and eating. There are several ways to bring mindfulness to the eating experience, including the One Minute Taste Test and sensory evaluation.

The One Minute Taste Test

For a quick and fun way to reconnect to the eating experience, try the One Minute Taste Test by following the steps below.

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New Year’s Resolutions That Aren’t About Your Body

Multi-colored balloons

In 46 B.C., Julius Caeser declared that January 1st would be the first day of the year, partially to line up the calendar with the sun and partially to honor Janus, the God of Beginnings. The Romans celebrated the New Year by making offerings to Janus, exchanging gifts, and noting the holiday as a time of celebration and honor. This was the first time that the New Year was formally celebrated.

Now, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day continue to be celebrated around the world. In Spain, individuals eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each day of the month, for good luck. Those in Germany celebrate by eating doughnuts called Krapfen. In Brazil, people toss flowers into the ocean as an offering to the Sea Goddess and in Demark, plates are smashed to bring good luck. In the United States, loved ones may share a kiss based on the thought that the first person you see in the New Year will suggest how the rest of the year will go.

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