When many of us think of the holidays, the last thing that comes to mind is nourishing or well-fed. Instead it’s more like stress, stuffed and sinking mood.

I know the holidays can be a tough time for many of us for many reasons. For instance there’s the stress of hosting dinners, interacting with difficult family members, traveling, getting gifts and running around trying to check off lots more responsibilities.

That’s why I’m honored to present today’s interview with Rachel Cole, a life coach and retreat leader who always inspires me.

Below, she shares what it means to have a well-fed holiday along with how to cope with your emotions, eat in an attuned away and much more.

She also shares tidbits about “Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday,” which she created to support individuals in having a nourishing holiday.  (I signed up, and I can’t wait.)

Q: What does it mean to have a well-fed holiday?

A: A well-fed holiday is one where you honor your hungers and where how you spend your time and money aligns with what leaves you feeling deeply satiated. A well-fed holiday is like a great meal, it leaves you pleasured and full, but not unsatisfied or stuffed.

Q: While the holidays can be a beautiful time, they can also bring up difficult emotions — especially when we’re around certain family members. How can readers cope healthfully with their emotions?

A: Holidays are such a wonderful time to practice having healthy boundaries and allowing other people to have their own emotions while not internalizing or personalizing another’s experience.

The holidays are also a great time to lower the bar for ourselves. If we decide that this is the year we won’t revert back to being the baby of the family or this is the year we won’t let Aunt Carol get under our skin we set ourselves up disappointment.

We need to know our patterns, set an intention of self-care and not getting hooked when possible, and then load on the compassion when things unfold however they do.

Q: How can readers eat in an attuned way?

A: I think the most important thing we can do is to slow down. To really allow ourselves spaciousness around food which in turn allows us to bring mindfulness and body awareness.

Another very important tool for eating in an attuned way is to throw out the rules. If we go into the holiday season with a set of rules (I won’t eat any sugar or I will only have one serving of Grandma’s stuffing, etc.), we set ourselves up to naturally swing our pendulum to other side (disconnected overeating).

Instead, it can be incredibly supportive to eat without rules, allowing choice and presence in each moment to guide us.

Q: In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can feel disconnected from our bodies. What’s your favorite way to reconnect?

A: Low hanging fruit. I think that [if] being in our bodies, especially when we’re experiencing difficult emotions (or it’s just cold outside) is challenging, I suggest starting very very very small. Feel the breath.

Have a comfy chair to sit in and lovingly listen inward. Walk mindfully around the block once.

Before getting out of bed in the morning, ask the body “What would you like me to know?”

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

A: I want to support everyone in having a holiday season that truly feeds them. This is why I am offering Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday. I’m sending out seven weeks of delicious digital notes that include personal reflections, practices, inquiries, and simple, grounding recipes.

Wisdom Notes start November 19th and go through the end of the year. I invite anyone who could use a little extra support and nourishment this time of year.

I just want to add that if you’re interested in the Wisdom Notes, the deadline to sign up is November 18th.

Thanks so much to Rachel for sharing her wisdom with us!

And don’t forget that today is the last day to enter to win a book of your choice. Comment and learn more here.

What does a well-fed holiday look like to you? How will you connect with your body?