Happy? holidays

Remembrance Day is over so the holidays are upon us (have you been to Walmart lately?) This time of year is tough for many people and for many reasons. The holidays are not always happy.

We know there are going to be parties with rich food and (lots of) alcohol. There will be late nights rushing from work to the school concert to shopping. Sleep suffers. Our healthy diet goes out the window and our fitness is put on the back burner while we prepare treats for the office party and bake for the neighbourhood cookie exchange. Our mental health also takes a beating: especially for moms who want everything to be perfect for our families.

christmas-stress-memeI’m currently putting together an event for a fitness business that focuses on empowering people to take on this time of year with strength and confidence. I am so in love with this idea because I’m a firm believer in prevention rather than cures. The event is a combination workout and coaching to prepare participants to focus on their goals and remember their strength, and will wind down with a yoga practice. I’m a little disappointed I’ll be here in Victoria and have to miss this event because it sounds absolutely delicious! A morning spent investing in my physical and mental fitness! If you are in the Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia go check it out #IAmStrong Holiday Edition.

For the rest of the country: find a way to prepare yourself for the coming chaos, because we know it’s coming. Here are a few tips on how to get ready:

  • leave some empty spots in your calendar: Just like you take a rest day from physical training, give yourself a break from the craziness
  • learn to say no:This one is hard, I totally get that, but there no point committing to an activity that’s going to make you miserable
  • create a budget: spending can get out of hand and financial stress ain’t fun for anyone! Set a realistic budget (no need to go into debt buying every neighbour a gift) and stick to it.
  • make time for fitness: (You knew I couldn’t leave this one out!) Your health and fitness is NOT a luxury: it’s a necessity! Keep up with your regular routine or try something new to keep you motivated and energized.
  • remember what’s truly important: We often lose focus of what’s important at this time of year: spending time with family and friends, spreading kindness, etc. It may even be helpful to jot down a quick list of what you want the focus to be on this year.
  • enjoy yourself: Enjoy your favourite festive treats, but stick to one or two instead of the whole pan! Watch your favourite cheesy made for tv Christmas movie or meet an old friend for a mint hot chocolate. Refer to tip #2 about saying no: if you hate going to the office party, don’t go! If you don’t have time to bake for the class party, buy something instead. You’ll get no judgement from me because I’ll be doing the same thing!
  • be kind: Not everyone enjoys this time of year and it can be very difficult for many. Check in on friends and neighbours and reach out to those in need.
  •  If this season has you feeling depressed or anxious or suicidal, please call your doctor IMMEDIATELY or call 911. How to have a HAPPY Holiday

I love this time of year because of the music (yes, I have my festive playlist going already), decorations, and seeing how excited my kids get. There’s just a feeling of magic in the air that isn’t there the rest of the year, but I will manage expectations, keep up with my fitness and take it easy on the treats. I’ve got this!

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