Understand Your Holiday Friction at Home, Work, and Play
The holidays can be a tough time for athletes. You’re juggling training, work, and family commitments, and sometimes it feels like you’re the only one who isn’t able to relax and enjoy the festive season. But it doesn’t have to be this way! If you take some time to understand your holiday friction points, you can make a plan to overcome them and have a happy, healthy holiday season.
At home, the holidays can be a time of stress and family conflict. If you’re used to having a set training schedule, it can be tough to stick to it when you’re surrounded by tempting holiday food and drink. And if you have family members who don’t understand your commitment to your sport, it can be hard to keep them from derailing your training.
At work, the holidays can be a time of increased pressure and deadlines. If you’re in a job that doesn’t allow you to take time off for training, it can be tough to find the time to fit it in. And if you’re working in a customer-facing role, the increased holiday traffic can be mentally and physically draining.
And then there’s the holiday party circuit. If you’re trying to stay fit and healthy, it can be tempting to skip the parties altogether. But socializing is an important part of staying mentally healthy, and it’s important to find a balance that works for you.
Set Personal Expectations to be a Good Human
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. But for athletes, they can also be a time of stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to take a step back and set some personal expectations.
First, remember that you are not obligated to do anything that you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to go to a holiday party, don’t go. If you don’t want to eat a certain food, don’t eat it. You are in control of your own choices, and you should never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Second, don’t put pressure on yourself to perform. The holidays are not the time to try to PR your squat or run a marathon. If you’re feeling stressed about your training, take a week or two off. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to tackle your goals.
And finally, be good to yourself. The holidays can be a time of intense training and competition, but they can also be a time to focus on your mental and physical health. Make sure to schedule some time for yourself, whether it’s a massage, a yoga class, or just a few minutes of meditation.
Have a Default Easy Workout
The holidays are a busy time, and it can be tough to find the time to fit in a workout. But even if you can’t make it to the gym, there are still plenty of ways to stay active.
First, make sure you have a default easy workout that you can do anytime, anywhere. This could be a short run, a bodyweight circuit, or even just a brisk walk around the block. The important thing is that it’s something you can do without much planning or effort.
Second, take advantage of opportunities to move when they arise. If you’re at a holiday party, take a few laps around the block. If you’re watching a football game, do some jumping jacks during commercials. And if you’re traveling, pack a pair of running shoes and explore your destination on foot.
And finally, don’t be afraid to use technology to help you stay on track. There are tons of great fitness apps that can help you track your workouts, and many of them offer free trial periods. So take advantage of them, and use them to help you stay motivated and on track.
Pick One Holiday Discipline to Maintain
The holidays are a busy time, and it can be tough to find the time to focus on your training. But if you pick one discipline to maintain, you can still make progress while still enjoying the festive season. Here are two easy examples for you to follow.
If you’re trying to maintain your eating habits, the holidays can be a tough time. There are tempting holiday foods everywhere you turn, and it can be hard to resist them. But if you have a plan and stick to it, you can still enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your diet.
First, make sure you’re eating regular meals. Skipping meals will only make you more likely to indulge later. Second, pack healthy snacks with you wherever you go. This way, you’ll have something to eat if you get hungry between meals. And finally, don’t be afraid to say no to holiday foods that you know you shouldn’t eat. It’s OK to indulge occasionally, but don’t let the holidays turn into a free-for-all.
If you’re trying to maintain your training schedule, the holidays can be a tough time. There are competing demands on your time, and it can be hard to find the time to fit in a workout. But if you have a plan and stick to it, you can still make progress while still enjoying the festive season.
First, make sure you’re scheduling your workouts in advance. This way, you won’t have to scramble to find time to train. Second, set a realistic goal for your holiday training. If you’re trying to maintain your fitness, you don’t need to train as hard as you would during the season. And finally, don’t be afraid to take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s OK to take a few days off, and you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to train.
Give the Gift of Flexibility to Yourself
If you’re trying to focus on your recovery, the holidays can be a tough time. There are competing demands on your time, and it can be hard to find the time to rest. But if you have a plan and stick to it, you can still make progress while still enjoying the winter break.
It’s important to be patient with yourself and enjoy time with your loved ones. It’s also perfectly okay to be a little lazy – there’s plenty of time to get fit in the New Year!
Wishing you all the best during this holiday season.
~ Coach Patrick