Alright, here’s the thing. The key to good health is making essential lifestyle changes so that healthy choices aren’t difficult to make. Like, rather than choosing a diet that destroys your soul as well as that tummy fat in record time, it is better to make conscious, subtle changes to your diet with the intention of making that change for life. Over time, this method is proven to be more successful.
Or perhaps it is important for you to have resources constantly on hand to ensure that you can manage stress correctly. Setting priorities and being able to recognize your personal responses to stress will enable you to manage your mental health more acutely.
But, I hear you say, this is certainly easier said than done. I know; we are asking ourselves to break habits that are enjoyable to us and ones that we often enjoy with others. We are also expected to perform consistently, whether it be in work or socializing and we should rather be able to accept our limits without judgment or question.
This is especially true when holiday seasons roll around. We find ourselves in a predicament; slipping back into old habits, skipping the workout routines, pushing our own needs aside and telling ourselves that once this period is over we will find that rhythm again. But health doesn’t take a holiday and the damage that we can cause ourselves during these fluctuating and unstable times can be increased exponentially, especially when those resources we come to depend on disappear over the holiday breaks but the pressure on our health keeps on building.
You’re not alone in this situation, regardless of how you view good health to be. When we make excuses for our physical and mental wellbeing because of external pressures, such as preparing for, or simply enjoying the holiday season, we are doing ourselves a serious disservice. Remember that you have made healthy decisions regarding your lifestyle choices for a reason and breaking these potentially well-formed habits, if even for a short while, will be much harder to renew again.
There is a lot of mental play that is involved with habit forming and breaking and once you have done it once, it is very easy to do it again and again. The desire to take the easy path is innate in humans, regardless of the detrimental impacts it may have to our lives in modern society, so all of the hard work that has been put into forming a healthy and good habit is quickly abolished when poor judgment is applied during the holiday season for quick gratification.
So, how can we ensure we give our health the care and attention it needs, regardless of the day of the year?
One key element that you need to constantly apply to your life is appropriate planning for upcoming situations. In other words, failure to prepare is simply preparing to fail. If you are not viewing the disruptive silly season as your ultimate yearly test, then you should start today.
Stress related health concerns are the cause behind some 75-90% of necessary visits to the doctor, according to the American Institute for Stress. Stress is known to affect us all differently with a whole host of physical conditions manifesting as a direct response to external and internal stress on the body.
With money being a lead contributor for most, this is one aspect of your life that you can work on managing, especially during the holiday season to help minimize stress and allow you to focus on what should be your top priority: your health.
Shrewd preparation in regards to your diet and exercise regime (no, it doesn’t need to be some fad plan, we are talking about maintaining healthy options here), also need to be given a little thought. Holiday season stress, coupled with festivities, parties, friends and family is a recipe for disaster if you haven’t had a talk with yourself about your goals and how you are going to see yourself through to achieving them.
Be realistic and be kind to yourself. Recognize that you can say no to people for the sake of your wellbeing and you are allowed to have that cake and eat it too if it is right for you. It is about recognizing your needs, your goals and your limits and differentiating them from what you believe others are wanting for you.
By having a plan that recognizes that your health doesn’t take a holiday, by having systems in place that provide you with safe and healthy places for you to fall back into when things get too much and by learning that your wellbeing goes beyond pleasing others and instant gratification, you can enjoy the holidays for what they are whilst seeing yourself through to further achievements for the following year.