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Embracing the Festive Season with PCOS: A Mindful Approach to Enjoyment and Health

As the festive season approaches, individuals with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) often find themselves navigating a delicate balance between enjoying the celebrations and managing their health. The prospect of work socials, family gatherings, and celebratory meals can trigger anxiety about the impact of food and drink choices on PCOS symptoms, menstrual cycles, and even the journey towards conception. Rather than letting these concerns dominate your thoughts, imagine freeing up mental space to cherish moments with loved ones, and savour the joy of the season.

 

Navigating the Festive Season with PCOS:

 

Daily Supportive Habits:

Start each morning by asking yourself, "What one thing can I do today to support my PCOS?" This could range from a brisk morning walk and a balanced breakfast to remembering to take your supplements. On days when time is tight, even a small action is a positive step toward managing your health.

 

Set Attainable Daily Goals:

Consider setting small, achievable goals for yourself each day. These could include staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, incorporating a serving of fruit into your breakfast, taking a 10-minute walk, making having a balanced breakfast every day a non-negotiable or ensuring at least one serving of vegetables with main meals. While it may not be possible to meet every goal daily, striving for these targets provides a positive framework for mindful decision-making.

 

Mindset Matters:

Pay attention to your mindset and challenge negative thoughts that may lead to a cycle of overindulgence and subsequent restriction. Instead of thinking, "There's no point trying; I'll start again in January," reframe your mindset. Recognize that the foods you enjoy are available year-round, and there's no need for extreme restriction. If you find yourself eating all the chocolates/crisps now because come Jan they won’t be allowed in the house, try reframing this thinking to “I can still have these foods in the new year when I fancy them so I’m going to say no for now”. By fostering a mindset of moderation and abundance, you are less likely to succumb to impulsive overindulgence during the festive season.

 

Prioritise sleep and rest:

While getting a full 8 hours may be challenging during the festive season, aim to go to bed at a decent hour to optimize your chances of a good night's sleep. Allocate some personal time, especially if you're an introvert needing moments of solitude to recharge amid socializing with friends and family.

 

Approaching the festive season with PCOS requires a delicate balance between enjoying the festivities and prioritizing your health. By adopting a mindful approach, incorporating daily supportive habits, setting realistic goals, and cultivating a positive mindset, you can navigate the celebrations with a sense of empowerment and enjoyment. Remember, the festive season is an opportunity to create cherished memories with loved ones, and your well-being deserves to be part of the celebration.

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