Habits: we all have them. Our world is cyclical-our lives, the seasons and even our habits. Hindsight has identified emerging patterns each year and season in my life. Maybe like me, you head into new seasons full of excitement and energy, only to find yourself weeks later exhausted and edgy. Whether the season is marked by the calendar or a change in life, behaviors, feelings and habits develop like a Polaroid picture, slowly coming into focus. But we can purposefully create holiday wellness habits to help.
Autumn always surprises me. One minute I’m applying sunscreen and the next I’m reaching for my slippers. Thoughts turn to soups, sweaters, and the holidays as leaves turn to crimson and gold. My holiday enthusiasm surges and my wellness energy wanes.
It’s a habit I’ve recognized far too often the last few years. The holidays consume me in joyful busyness, shopping, cooking, eating, and socializing. But then January’s arrival has me regretting my November and December choices. Not again.
I’m determined to break my habit of putting wellness on the shelf over the holidays. I want to better manage my time, stress, health and precious moments with loved ones this year. It’s time for a Holiday Wellness Plan!
Here’s the Plan…
Just as the holiday season begins earlier each year, so must our wellness plan. No one runs a marathon without a training plan and the same holds true for our Wellness. I love a good PLAN and over the next 8 weeks, we’ll discuss how to maintain wellness through and past the holiday season. We’ll discuss eating, exercising, time and stress management, indulgences, triggers and how our thinking influences it all. Now, let’s begin training!
As many of you know, I love using acronyms as a memory technique. To remember our Holiday Wellness Plan, we’ll use the acronym HOLIDAY. Let’s begin with H for Holiday and Healthy Habits.
According to Charles Duhigg author of The Power of Habit, habits are born with a cue, a routine and a reward. Our brain likes habits to increase its efficiency. It’s how we automatically brush our teeth without thinking. But in order to sustain a habit, we need a craving. The habit is created by the cycle, but the craving keeps it perpetuated. Want to change or break a habit? Figure out the craving behind it.
With holiday eating, it’s often the sugary, fat-laden carb load we get with each bite of pie, cookie or holiday appetizer. We’ll dig into what triggers our cravings and habits later, but for now, let’s identify our personal holiday habits we wish to alter. Then, identify which healthy habits we can begin and sustain through the holidays and beyond.
Start with Three
Think about what you love about the holidays and your regrets each January. Write down your top three holiday habits you wish to change and also what three things you’d like to improve in your soul, mind and body wellness. Often there’s a correlation. Do you indulge in too many holiday foods then lament the weight gain in January? Or maybe you spend time running around with a massive to-do list then regret not honoring the true meaning of the season? Regret how you waste money or energy on things important to others and then miss quality time with loved ones?
Take a few moments before holiday busyness sets in to honestly reflect on both your holiday and healthy habits you want to tackle in the coming weeks. Then apply the tips to your specific habits and goals, making this your own custom Holiday Wellness Plan!
Habits aren’t all bad. We can take control of unhealthy holiday habits and replace them with healthy habits lasting well past the holidays. Begin today to create a plan. Let’s continue the conversation on social media-watch for additional holiday wellness tips on Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest using #HolidayWellnessPlan.
If you are a go-getter and want to read ahead, here are all the posts in the Holiday Wellness Plan series:
Here’s to creating our Holiday Wellness Plan together!