We’ve nearly made it.
Work calendars are closing, out of office emails are being drafted, and the light of freedom is suddenly almost in reach.
Unfortunately for many of us though, the commitments and responsibilities don’t miraculously disappear into a fine dust we can push aside. In many cases, they’re only exacerbated by the holiday season.
Family gatherings, social expectations and the weekly ‘objective’ to relax can make you feel as though you are still motoring ahead at 110km/hr.
Where’s the time to relish in the break, let alone stay on top of your health goals?
The secret can be learning to lean into the holiday chaos.
Know that routines are in a flux during this period, so planning for the inevitable can help you draft up a plan B, C or even D.
Make the unexpected expected.
You have a goal you’ve been adamantly trying to achieve- say exercising for at least 3 days a week. The routine of the work week can make these achievable, so sticking to your goal may not appear too difficult. The only challenge you encounter is getting started.
Throw in the unpredictability of the holiday season, and that mole hill is starting to feel more like a mountain.
However, life is never perfect and learning to address your goals with that sense of pragmatism can save you a lot of guilt and stress in the future.
But how do we do that?
Reduce the scope.
Routine is important, particularly when it comes to health-related practices. Only those who are consistent can expect to reap the benefits of their hard work- that’s what makes the fruits of your labour all the more sweeter.
So, in light of that, it is paramount to not let life get in the way.
You may not have achieved your 30 minute run this morning, but being able to schedule a 15 minute yoga practice just before dinner is a win in our books.
You may have felt more accomplished if the run went according to plan, but the importance here is that the schedule was not broken.
If you can’t do it all, do it small!
Plan for the chaos.
Spanners get thrown into the works all the time, but some days they can feel really overwhelming and derail the intentions you had set for the day. Planning for a potential road bump can make the journey over them feel a little smoother.
The key is prematurely alleviating the emotional labour needed when things get tough.
Packing a bag filled with your workout gear so that you can pick it up and go, doubling the portion size of a meal you are making so that you have leftovers for the fridge, or simply lining up your morning vitamins/collagen the night before can help set you up for success no matter the day ahead.
The catch-22 of the holiday season is that the chaos that makes it jaw-droppingly daunting, is what also makes it incredibly exciting. So, it is paramount that we take the time out of our days to consider and reflect on the day ahead or passed. Given the toll that emotional loads can cause, allowing your mind to ease itself of the mental turmoil can give you the added zest you need to stick to those health goals. This process also allows you to consider the ‘why’ for your health actions, allowing you to renew your motivation and stay consistent regardless of your external pressures.