By: Antonio Stephens, Wellness Coach
It’s that time of year when many of us fall into the traps of the holiday season. It becomes so easy to neglect our good habits and for some, we often fall into this cycle of self-martyrdom. How many times have you thought to yourself, “oh well, it’s winter (depending on where you are in the world) and it’s the holiday season so I’ll just let go and pick up my routine in the New Year?” We’ve all been there. But, know you can stay mindful and still relish in the joys of the season in a healthy and productive way. Everything is about balance and in finding that, you’ll be able to remain at your best during what can be a stressful period for some.
Among techniques such as meditation etc., the best way to keep yourself balanced and on track during this time is to keep up with your physical exercise or wellness routine. Our bodies are our temples and we must take good care of them. Treat and nurture your body to remain in an optimal state of flow. If you lead a busy or fast paced life and feel as though you struggle to find time to exercise and take care of yourself, here are a few suggestions and ideas you can throw into your mix to help keep you on track.
For busy working professionals, maximize the time you spend on the phone.
Many of us sit behind our desk just listening in or loosely participating in calls. This is a great opportunity to walk and talk or leverage the time you spend sitting dormant to get to the gym or get on that stair stepper. If you do have to actively participate in a virtual meeting, you can send your materials in advance of the meeting or ask a team member to present on your behalf so that you can get up and get active. Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations or to verbalize to your manager or team what you need to show up as your best.
Be intentional and create space. Plan your week and days in advance.
Protecting and maintaining your physical and mental health and wellbeing requires clear intention and smart planning. Start small, build a system that works for you and advance from there. The more consistent you become with small atomic habits, the easier it is to show up for yourself and those around you. Remember, this is a long-term play – yes, there will be some instant gratification, but your body, mind and soul will thank you years down the road.
If you lead a busy life and feel like there just is not enough time during the day to tend to yourself, keep in mind that your “sacred hours” before (5 a.m. - 9 a.m.) and after (5 p.m. - 10 p.m.) work is yours to use and do with as you see fit. Prioritize 30 minutes a day to get your heart rate up by doing something as simple as going for a walk (or body weight squats in your living room or office) and see what difference that makes for you.
Give yourself something to work toward that will help to hold you accountable.
You can begin with extrinsic motivators to get you going or to keep you on track and over time transcend this into an intrinsic practice. Setting goals and targets is a great way to hold yourself accountable. This, adjacent to a strong plan or clear intention will surely get you to the finish line. Once you achieve your goal, take the time to reflect on what you’ve achieved, how you feel and any notable changes in your overall well-being. Having accountability partners – a friend, partner, coach or co-worker, is a great way to keep your process exciting and perpetuating.
Ditch the elevator and car, take the stairs or walk to your destination instead of driving.
“Save the people, save the planet!”
This one is simple but so easy for many of us to overlook due to convenience. There’s so much value in simply deciding to ditch technology and machines and walking instead. What difference can you as an individual make for not only yourself, but our current and future environment if you were mindful of your transportation habits?
You’ve heard this many times, but it’s so true: you must put your mask on first before you can help others. Without a sound body, other parts of your machine over compensate and long-term that will have a lasting effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
Take good care of yourselves this holiday season and keep up with your good habits.
Thanks and speak to you again, soon.