DON’T THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER
In the last article we looked at specific actions to ensure that you stay healthy during what can be an extremely hectic and stressful time of year. This is important because the season can get the best of people and the last thing you want is to spend it sick, miserable and unable to participate in all it has to offer.
This week we will be looking more at the mindset required to be certain that you and your family stay healthy and happy. Mindset is where most people go wrong and despite all of the great (and not so great) advice out there, when we become overwhelmed, everything can fall apart if we don’t have the right perception.
In my experience even people with the best intentions can end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater when faced with overwhelm. What this means is that in addition to indulging over the holidays, STOP doing the things that keep them healthy the other 11 months of the year. Then, when they get sick, they blame the indulging, not the fact that they neglected health building activities.
What has worked best for me and many of the people I have coached over the years is to first acknowledge that you WILL indulge over the holidays! Get that out of the way. Make the decision to treat yourself and don’t feel guilty about it – guilt can lead to overwhelm. If you love grandma’s Christmas cookies, give yourself permission to eat some, if you have cut grains from your diet and miss bread, go ahead and have a roll at dinner. Make it a treat!
Now that you have decided to treat yourself, you must also commit to sticking with those activities that keep you healthy. I am usually successful at doing even more of these activities during the holiday and it is one of the reasons that I typically start the New Year with energy and momentum. They kept you healthy all year, why would you stop doing them now?
The focus here is proactive steps that PROMOTE health. That means activities that make you healthy whether you have a health challenge or not.
If you follow an exercise program – stick to it! If you don’t have access to your particular facility or program due to travel or schedule use that as an opportunity to try something new and fun. Get outside if you can. Life is movement, so make sure you MOVE over the holidays.
Food is probably the biggest challenge for most – and it doesn’t have to be. Even while you are indulging in some not-so-good for you treats, there is absolutely no reason to stop eating all the good stuff. A cookie doesn’t mean NOT eating your vegetables. Make sure that the meals you eat are full of healthy stuff. Get your vegetables, fruit, and clean meats like you do all year round. If you do, a few chocolates will not be able to take you out.
The same strategies hold for anything in your routine that improves your health. I personally meditate 20 minutes per day. During the holidays I shoot for 40 minutes because it helps me to deal with my relatives (just kidding). My own Neurospinal Optimization care with my chiropractor is in the centre of my year round health care, so I make whatever arrangements necessary to keep that over the holidays. Why? Being free of Neural Shift promotes health, healing and makes me more adaptable to stress of all kinds.
Take control of your health this holiday and you will be able to have fun, treat yourself, and still be healthy and full of energy. Go ahead and indulge but be sure to continue doing the things that keep you healthy and functioning great all year long.
See Adele or Cindy for our holiday hours, as we will be in the office for those of you who use our services as part of your health care routine as well as for those crises that frequently arise at this time of year.