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IT'S THE MOST... STRESSFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

We all go through periods of time during the year when we feel that our stress is at its max. The couple weeks leading to the Holidays can feel overwhelming for many of us; getting everything ready for celebrations, buying gifts, cooking, shopping, decorating  - all of this while dealing with the first snow falls and working hard to get things done at work before the end of the year.

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The important thing to remember is that the more your body is in a stressed state, the more chances it has of falling appart physically and mentally; anxiety, tears, sickness, cold, flu, seasonal depression, injury, etc.!

It happens way too often that we find ourselves sick or overtired during the Holidays or that we fall appart right after our few days of celebrations. The last thing we want is to start the new year on a bad note, no? 

Let's go through a couple things that will allow you to remain healthy mentally and physically throughout this stressful time of the year.

 

First of all, it's during those periods that it's even MORE important to keep our healthy habits. When we fall off our health wagon, that's when we get sick, more tired and even more stressed. Eating well, being active, getting enough sleep, spending time with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors... All habits to keep! 

Imagine how your body would react if on top of having to deal with outside stress, you were feeding it junkfood, you had stopped working out, you would go to bed late or stay home alone depressed. You would be at war with your health!!

It's not easy to keep a global life balance during stressful times, but I promise you that if you stick to your good habits as much as you can, your body will thank you, you will feel stronger and healthier to go through this stressful period.

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With all of that being said, it is challenging to keep our consistent habits when our lives get crazier and busier. I understand that between running around to get everything ready in time for everyone to have a perfect Christmas and taking the time to hit the gym a few times a week, your priorities might change a little and you might use the little free time that you have to deal with Holiday shenanigans.

Being aware of the fact that things might not be perfect or optimized during a few weeks (sleep, nutrition, training, etc.), it doesn't mean that it all has to go away. You have to stick to your FOUNDATION.

The 'foundation' is a concept I use with my clients that allows them to do the minimum to get the maximum out of a period that's a bit different and less under their control. Everyone has a different foundation. Once you know what your foundation is, you force yourself to stick to it no matter what. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when building your foundation:

- What is the minimum amount of workout sessions that I can fit during my week? And what is the minimum duration for each session?

- What is the minimum amount of healthy meals and snacks per day that I can prep and eat?

- What is the minimum amount of hours of sleep that I can get every night to make sure I can function properly the next day?

Maybe your usual answers to these questions are 5 workouts of 45 minutes a week, 3 meals and 1 snack a day and 8 hours of sleep. But remember that when building your foundation - which is what you will absolutely have to stick to no matter how busy and crazy things get, you have to be more realistic with yourself and figure out what is actually doable. So your answers might change to 3 workouts of 30 minutes a week, 1 meal and 1 snack a day and 6 hours of sleep. 

Is it ideal? Nop. Under what you usually do? Yup. BUT by sticking to your foundation, you avoid the deceiving situation where ALL your good habits go down the drain and you fall into the mentality of 'I'll just start all over again after the Holidays'. And that is dangerous. That is when you get sick, overtired, overstressed. That is what makes it so much harder to fall back into your good habits after the Holidays. I'll even go further and tell you to ask yourself one more question to add a few things to your foundation: 

- What other healthy habits can I easily keep throughout my days even with a busy schedule and a holiday 'to-do list' that never ends?  

Maybe it's drinking 2 liters of water a day. Or doing your 1 minute breathing exercise twice a day. Or meditating 5 minutes every morning. Or taking your daily Vitamin D supplement. Add to your foundation 2-3 key habits that you do daily, that don't require a lot of time and that will keep bringing great health benefits to your life. 

Once you have your foundation, write it down somewhere you can see it and get reminded daily that you owe it to yourself to stick to your foundation so you can fully enjoy the Holidays, healthy, a little less stressed and with a little more energy. And so all your hard work doesn't get side tracked by life. And so when your schedule gets back to somewhat normal, going back to your optimal habits will be so much easier.   

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If you need help to build your foundation, don't hesitate to contact me today by clicking the button below.

Happy Holidays!

Coach Claudia

www.karmakin.ca

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