Love 'em or hate 'em, the holidays are here in all their tinseled glory.
The season is associated with joy, peace and happiness, but for many people, it can be a severely stressful time, especially for someone trying their best to stay on track with their mental, physical, nutritional and overall health goals. Luckily for you, DNDY Coaching has helped guide many clients over the years through the chaos that this time of year can bring.
Here, we’ll explore tips you can use to navigate your way through the holidays with confidence.
With holiday parties and late(r) nights, it’s easy to merge into unhealthy sleeping patterns. And oddly, somewhat expected. One of the most important coaching tips I can give you during the festive season is to make sure to prioritize sleep. Sleep influences many physiological functions, including hormonal balance, immune function, neurological performance, growth and repair of muscles.
How much sleep required for optimal performance greatly depends on the individual and their lifestyle choices. However, the average adult requires between six to eight hours of sleep every night.
Unhealthy sleep patterns can lead to a host of emotional and physiological disorders. Poor sleep can also compromise the immune system.
YOU'VE GOT THE POWER
How many times have you absolutely dreaded a situation, creating a narrative of HOW TERRIBLE it was going to be only to find that after going through it, it wasn't really that bad? Sound familiar?
Practice removing the invisible power that the holidays hold over you. Look at the FACTS and not the story you've created based on old experiences that, often, no longer exist. Or future experiences that also, do not exist. If it helps, write a list that differentiates between that Facts and the Story. You'll be surprised by how much of your worry is simply made up.
Our source of dissatisfaction often lies in our impulses and our repeated dependency on our reflexive senses rather than logic.
You must dedicate time for relaxation as it is is essential to staying healthy.
There are literally hundreds of different ways you can choose to relax. So, let's not spout the ridiculous theory that you just can't relax. Sorry, I don't buy it.
Whether it’s meditation, yoga, reading a book, taking a nap, a light workout, a bath, making love, taking a walk, playing a game, stretching, going to a cafe, writing, watching a movie, etc. make sure you take time to relax and energize, especially during the holiday season.
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” –Sydney Harris
FOOD (AND DRINK) WILL TEST YOU
In the modern world, at any hour of the day, food and drink are available. While it isn't just a matter of self-control for those suffering with eating disorders or alcoholism, for the majority it does come down to, well, self-control.
Although the pleasure of food is experienced on the tongue, it’s crystal clear that the purpose of food is truly revealed when it assimilates with the body through digestion. On the other hand, the pleasure of alcohol is experienced on the tongue and throughout the body. The purpose? Mostly as a social lubricant and/or crutch.
It's even more important during the holidays to realize that we should eat and drink to live rather than live to eat and drink.
TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF GIFT GIVING
Gift giving can become a downright financial burden around the holidays, it doesn't have to break the bank.
Simply spending quality time with the people you love and care about can be the best gift you can give. Memories will last a lifetime while, no matter what the material gift may be, its will degrade and its shine will fade over time.
Plus, do you really think your friends and family want you to go broke buying them gifts? They don't.
Remember that many families go without gifts during the holiday season, and sometimes even without a hot meal or a warm place to sleep. The holiday season is one long commercial and it's difficult to not fall for it. The true spirit of the holiday season comes from giving back, giving thanks and helping those in need.
Helping others provides a sense of duty and courage. It also has a way of simultaneously empowering and humbling us. And providing such an example for children will not only teach them of their connection to other people, it will give them the tools to be a good human in the large ecosystem that is our world.
The holiday season can get crazy busy, it’s imperative that you continue (or start) staying active at this time of year.
Whether you enjoy walking, weight lifting, yoga or spin class, make sure to allocate time for these activities. You've worked hard to establish your healthy habits, so it’s important to try your best to keep going, even with a busy schedule.
Consider these activities just as important as an appointment with your doctor or a business meeting.
INDULGE IN MODERATION
One indulgent meal is not going to ruin your life.
If you're going to indulge, indulge guilt free. Keeping the negative self-talk to a minimum is always a good idea, especially during this time of year. Besides, if you are following the other suggestions listed here, a couple indulgences over the holidays will be nothing to worry about.
Healthy living is best assessed over a period of weeks rather than days, and will not be completely screwed by the odd “cheat meal.”
Many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be and look like. When they don’t live up to those expectations, heavy disappointment sets in.
Try to be more realistic this year.
NOBODY has a perfect holiday or a perfect family, roll with the punches.
PLAN YOUR FUTURE
How are you going to improve next year? Start thinking about that now by planning ahead instead of when you, on January 1, 2020, make a resolution that will last a few months and then be repeated on January 1, 2021. Unfortunately, a mere 8% of resolutions are reached each year, on average. Why? Poor planning and much too lofty goals.
No to toot our own horn (toot! toot!) but we offer mobile and one-on-one fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coaching. Also, in early 2020 we will be offering Behavioral and Mental Wellness Consulting and be launching a Youtube channel.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Wishing you a happy, peaceful holiday season!
Christopher Hostetler, founder Do Not Die Young Coaching