How to maintain willpower over the holidays

Are you scared of over-indulging in Halloween candy, Thanksgiving desserts, and holiday shopping? Therapist Jessie Shepherd stopped by to offer some outside-of-the-box ways to increase willpower.

  • "I will" not "I won`t." Keep your mind on your positive goals instead of failing into willpower depletion. Making positive statements even in self talk help us see the world and our ability to achieve goals in a more positive way.
  • Don`t resist; Redirect. Set yourself up for success by giving your willpower breaks by bringing your attention to other enjoyable activities, being mindful, and creating a plan for when it happens.
  • Routines and habits. Specifically good habits when stressed out. Having a good sleep routine, regular exercise, stable/healthy foods in diet (less sugar), and creative/social outlets. Avoid impulsive decisions during "HALT": Hungry, Angry, Lonely, & Tired.
  • Posture & Self-compassion. Take a nice deep breath, fix your posture, and say something nice to yourself. The difficulty of what you are taking on will change, but positive self talk is always a good thing.
  • Use your opposite hand. Using the opposite hand confuses the brain's efficiency in day-to-day tasks. It is working out your brain, just like you work out your muscles making them more efficient and effective as you work on it. This in turn strengthens rarely used neurons; specifically the prefrontal cortex, which is linked to self control and willpower. It challenges your patience with yourself and how kind you will be with yourself in the process. Use the opposite hand when brushing your teeth, working the remote, tying your shoelaces, or hand writing a list.


You can schedule an appointment with Jessie at

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