Imagine it’s January 2nd.
How do you want to feel? How do you want to look? On that day, what kind of thoughts do you want to have about yourself, towards others and about life in general?
It's probably safe to say that none of us would answer that we want to feel overweight, bloated, exhausted, resentful and perhaps even unhappy.
Yet, after the holidays, many end of up in this kind of place or similar. How does that happen? And, what can we do to prevent ending up in this kind of body and mindset?
Typically when the holiday shopping, decorating, parties, and cooking requires our attention, the time we take for exercise, sleep, meal prep and rest decreases or totally disappears.
Now, we all know that the best thing we can do during this time is to continue eating healthy, balanced meals while working out regularly. These are among the best ways to reduce the stress of the holiday season, clear the mind and strengthen the body.
Then the question is, how come exercise is the first thing we stop doing to make room for our shopping, parties, wrapping and more?
Perhaps this year we can change that by taking a different approach to holiday season.
Keep in mind, it’s not all or nothing.
If you are consistently working out 4 or 5 days a week as part of your typical daily and weekly routine, perhaps around the holiday season dropping back to 3 or 4 days a week is more reasonable.
By doing this you acknowledge that there are other demands on your time while maintaining the habits of exercise. When the holidays are over, you can add back a day or two rather than feeling like the time for fitness has completely disappeared from your schedule.
Let’s be realistic.
This is not the time of year to add workouts into your schedule or start training for an event you have never done before.
If you want to train for a triathlon - that is a great goal, but maybe starting in December isn't the best move.
It’s just not the right time to demand of yourself a heavier training schedule and commitment.
Believe that your health and wellness is the most important present you can give your family and friends.
Therefore, lower the expectations on what the holidays “have to” look like and what needs to be done for everyone to enjoy them. Avoid the trap of perfection.
Where can you cut back?
This is a personal decision. For some, its buying store bought food and less homemade cooking. For others, it is less decorating and declining party invitations.
What can be let go of so your health and wellness can take priority?
Ask for help with the holiday tasks.
Taking time to workout should not arouse feelings of guilt or negative self-talk like, “It’s selfish for me workout when there is so much to do.”
In reality, what everyone wants most is to enjoy your company, which means the mom, wife, aunt, friend, etc. who is not stressed out, physically uncomfortable and exhausted.
Get the family involved! Designate tasks or assign someone to be in charge of certain holiday necessities like wrapping, dessert baking, last minute grocery shopping, etc.
Giving yourself time to take care of you and having others help with tasks is a wonderful holiday present!
Let’s keep the holidays something we look forward to. This year is our year to say “Happy Holidays” and “Happy New Year” and know that by maintaining our exercise routine and healthy habits, the “happy” will continue when the holidays are over and the new year has begun.
Need some fitness in your lift this holiday season?
Schedule a free strategy session with a G+O Coach to get started.