the (highly unusual) holidays of 2020

As Hannukah begins and we hurtle toward Christmas and the new year, the holidays feel different in 2020.

Online shopping is booming—although judging by the line at the post office yesterday, plenty of people are still shopping and mailing gifts in person.

Lockdowns and restrictions continue to impede traditional gatherings of families and faith communities.

I think I’ve known on an intellectual level that we won’t be trekking to Vermont to spend Christmas with my parents—and the other day, it hit me really hard on an emotional level. It’s been a year since we’ve seen them, and I just wanted to stomp my feet like a toddler and cry, “It’s not fair! I want to go to Vermont!” (Because that would make it happen.)

And as a health coach, I have to ask: What does this unusual (nope, not gonna use the word “unprecedented” one more time) holiday season make possible?

i’ll start after the holidays

Before signing up to work with me, a lot of my clients wonder whether fall is “the right time” to start working with a health coach. Because the holidays. Why not wait until after New Year’s Day to begin—you know, after all the poor food and lifestyle choices have been made?

The answer to that is: if you’re waiting to start something tomorrow (Monday, the first of next month, the first of the year), you really aren’t committed to changing or you’re waiting for something/someone external to motivate you. (And how’s that working out for you so far?)

To tell the truth, some of my most successful clients have started working with me just before the holidays.

For many, having the support and accountability of a coach over the holidays is what helps them reframe their relationship with food and physical activity: feeding ourselves (literally and figuratively) becomes an act of self love/soul care rather than a reward/treat (for which we later punish ourselves).

it’s a holiDAY

Another reframe is that a holiday is a day like any other: we still get the choice of how to eat and whether or not to work out. Maybe it’s the day we treat ourselves with food and a break from working out—and then we get right back on the better choice horse the next day. Or maybe we make good food choices for at least one of the meals and sneak in a walk in nature.

The important point is that it’s not a week or two or four or eight of poor choices: it’s a day here and a day there.

Perhaps the holidays of 2020 are a chance to explore these reframes and come to the realization that celebrating is not incompatible with a healthy lifestyle.

Nor is health about quick fixes and diets and detoxes thrown at food and lifestyle choices that never change: it’s about slow and steady progress toward loving ourselves so that every choice we make is good for us. (And sometimes that can be a really fudgy flourless chocolate cake.)

make the connection

If you’re looking for some support getting started or continuing on your health journey—even during the holidays—commit to at least one of the upcoming collaborative offerings I’m involved in:

Interested in working with me 1:1 or in a group setting? Schedule a free YOURstory session, and let’s find out if we’re a good fit!

[Image by from Pexels]