Avoid Feeling Guilty after the Holidays with these Victorious Tips

December 21, 2017
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Avoid Feeling Guilty after the Holidays | Innovative Health

Avoid Feeling Guilty after the Holidays | Innovative Health

Avoid the holiday and New Year’s guilt-trip this year by focusing on success rather than failure. Below we give you a different perspective on getting through the holidays so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and not feel like you have to set yourself up to fail. (Eat right, & avoid skipping your exercise)

Set Yourself up for Success

Living a healthy lifestyle is meant to happen year-round but many people struggle with it during the holidays and end up with a major case of guilt come January 1. We want to help you avoid the guilt trip altogether so here are some tips to keep you healthy, de-stressed, and guilt-free through the holidays.

Let’s start with the reality of the holidays. There are more temptations, more events, crazier schedules, bad influences, and traditional triggers than the rest of the year. It is important to have the correct mindset, spend some time goal-setting and planning, and then execute that plan.

Understanding Post-Holiday Guilt

Reasons behind Feeling Guilty after Holidays

Post-holiday guilt can stem from various sources, including overindulgence in food and drink, overspending beyond one’s budget, neglecting health and fitness goals, and feeling disconnected from family and friends due to busy schedules. Additionally, societal pressure to uphold certain holiday traditions or meet unrealistic expectations can exacerbate feelings of guilt and inadequacy.


Common Triggers of Post-Holiday Guilt

Triggers for post-holiday guilt may include comparing oneself to others, dwelling on perceived failures or shortcomings, and internalizing societal norms or expectations. Social media platforms often exacerbate these feelings by showcasing curated snapshots of seemingly perfect holiday experiences, leading individuals to question their own choices and accomplishments.


The Impact of Post-Holiday Guilt

The mental and emotional toll of post-holiday guilt can be significant, contributing to increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. Moreover, prolonged guilt may hinder personal growth and impede progress toward self-improvement goals. Left unchecked, post-holiday guilt can perpetuate a cycle of negative self-talk and self-sabotage, detracting from overall well-being and happiness.

Here are some other ways to be victorious through the holidays:

  • Eat before you go to a holiday gathering.
    Going to parties or events hungry is a recipe for disaster. You will be more susceptible to temptation and can sabotage your efforts. Get in some good quality nutrients before you go so your body is properly fueled. Doing this will make you feel better about working on some “vacation” snacks or meals.
  • Give yourself some irreducible minimums.
    Examples can be no sodas at all, five servings of vegetables a day, two desserts a week, etc.
  • Make some healthy holiday treats to have on hand.
    There are many holiday dishes and desserts that you can enjoy without feeling left out or deprived. (The Maximized Living Recipe Vault is full of helpful ideas.)
  • Bring healthy food with you to share at holiday events.
    People will be appreciative and will also be surprised that the food actually tastes good.
  • Don’t let others derail you.
    Unfortunately, there will be people out there who are—whether they realize it or not—pressuring you to sabotage your health goals. Stay committed! Remember, if you have a well-thought-out plan, you will be much more likely to execute it.
  • Stay hydrated.
    It is easy to become dehydrated, especially during the colder months when you are less conscious about drinking water.
  • Keep moving.
    Don’t let the holidays interrupt your exercise. It is even more important to exercise during times of increased stress. This will also help your body bounce back from the occasional nutritional “cheat.”
  • Keep balance in mind.
    If you know you are giving yourself a vacation meal, eat really great beforehand to “earn” it. Conversely, if you fall off the plan, make up for it by nourishing your body properly in the following hours and days.
  • Don’t beat yourself up.
    If you make some mistakes, don’t dwell on it. Get back up, wipe the slate clean, and make a new plan. Stay positive and focus on your long-term goals.
  • Celebrate your successes.
    Give yourself credit for making your health and your nutrition a priority during the holidays. Share what you are doing with others who are struggling.

The holiday season often brings joy, laughter, and cherished moments with loved ones. However, amidst the festivities, many individuals find themselves grappling with a sense of guilt once the holidays come to an end. Whether it’s indulging in decadent treats, overspending on gifts, or neglecting personal goals, post-holiday guilt can dampen spirits and detract from the joy of the season. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind post-holiday guilt and offer practical tips to help you navigate this common emotional experience.


Tips to Avoid Feeling Guilty After the Holidays


Tip 1: Set Realistic Expectations

Instead of striving for perfection, acknowledge that the holidays are a time for celebration and relaxation. Set realistic goals and boundaries for yourself, recognizing that it’s okay to indulge occasionally and prioritize self-care.


Tip 2: Focus on the Positives

Shift your focus from perceived shortcomings to moments of joy, gratitude, and connection experienced during the holidays. Practice gratitude by reflecting on cherished memories and expressing appreciation for the people and experiences that bring fulfillment to your life.


Tip 3: Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that nobody is perfect. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would extend to a friend facing similar challenges. Embrace imperfection as part of the human experience and forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes or lapses in judgment.


Tip 4: Stay Mindful and Present

Cultivate mindfulness by staying present in the moment and savoring the simple pleasures of daily life. Practice deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques to ground yourself and alleviate feelings of guilt or anxiety.


Tip 5: Take Action Towards Self-Improvement

Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, channel your energy into positive action. Set achievable goals for personal growth and take small steps towards self-improvement each day. Whether it’s adopting healthier habits, managing finances more effectively, or nurturing relationships, focus on progress rather than perfection.



In conclusion, post-holiday guilt is a common yet manageable emotional experience that many individuals encounter after the festive season. By understanding the underlying causes of guilt and implementing practical strategies for self-care and self-compassion, you can overcome feelings of guilt and embrace a more positive and fulfilling post-holiday experience.


Unique FAQs

How long does post-holiday guilt typically last?

Post-holiday guilt can vary in duration depending on individual circumstances and coping mechanisms. However, by implementing healthy coping strategies and practicing self-compassion, you can mitigate its impact and move forward more quickly.


Is it normal to feel guilty about indulging during the holidays?

Yes, it’s common for individuals to experience guilt after indulging in festive treats or overspending on gifts. However, it’s important to remember that occasional indulgence is a natural part of the holiday season and shouldn’t be cause for prolonged guilt or self-criticism.


How can I overcome feelings of guilt after overspending on gifts?

Start by acknowledging your feelings and reframing your perspective on gift-giving. Focus on the thoughtfulness behind your gifts rather than their monetary value, and consider alternative ways to show appreciation that align with your budget and values.


What are some healthy ways to cope with post-holiday guilt?

Healthy coping strategies include practicing mindfulness, seeking social support, engaging in physical activity, and focusing on self-care activities that bring joy and relaxation. By prioritizing your well-being and practicing self-compassion, you can effectively manage post-holiday guilt.


When should I seek professional help for post-holiday guilt?

If feelings of guilt persist or significantly impact your daily life and well-being, it may be beneficial to seek support from a mental health professional. They can provide personalized guidance and strategies to help you address underlying issues and cultivate resilience in the face of post-holiday guilt.

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