Each year around the holidays I often share a guide to staying healthy during the holidays or share tips on how to “survive” the deluge of food and drinks that get pushed across the table toward us at the office or when we are out with family and friends. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out this recent blog post, but I hope you stay for a different take on how we should think about the holidays.
Yes, what we eat and how much we move are important aspects of our health, but the Habits of Health also emphasize a key idea that is missing in other health systems: What really matters to you.
Losing weight and fitting into our clothes is a big reward, but when I talk to clients about what really makes their health important, it’s rarely just about how they look or how they feel. What they ultimately care about is their vibrancy and their longevity. They want to be present with their children and grandchildren. They want to be in the park playing catch or keeping up on family vacations. The real rewards are about so much more than weight. They are about the people we love and the impact we want to have not just in our families but in our communities at large.
As you enter the holiday season, do not lose sight of this. We can very easily feel stressed or anxious about the table full of cookies or about how we are going to turn down our aunt’s pie without hurting her feelings. Those feelings are normal, but they can also be overpowering at a time when we could be creating special memories with the people who mean the most to us in our lives.
My challenge to you: Stop and take in the sights. Pause to appreciate the moment. Give an extra hug. Stay one more hour talking. Set aside the bustle of where you need to be next and enjoy being present.
The holidays can go quickly. If you don’t take the time to make new memories with your loved ones, you could miss your chance.
I hope that helps you have an even happier holiday.