As I sat down to write a blog for this holiday season, I took a look at the ones I had written in previous years. Advice about how to be moderate with holiday eating, how to navigate party goodies, and how to keep up with at least some exercise while being extra busy.
Wow. Almost seems like another world. No need to elaborate. We all get it.
Things just aren’t the same.
But, are they ever? As someone once said, “Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.”
However, there is something we can rely on. That is ourselves. Humans have proven over the millennia that we are resilient. We adapt. We are resourceful. We solve problems.
In spite of our wonderful characteristics, there have been many missteps as the pandemic has unfolded. And the controversies over personal freedom vs the public good rage on. Indeed, history shows us that our efforts to solve problems has always been a messy business.
That occurs globally as well as individually.
To get some perspective on making choices and responding to change, let’s just focus on the individual issue of health for a minute. It’s a good way to eliminate, at least for the time being, the need to think globally.
At this point, I would like to share something that I have come across in my research.
It is this. Studies have shown that the most important trait that enables people to initiate and sustain healthy habits is self-trust.
How does this play out?
Basically, when you trust yourself, you also trust how things will play out when you stick with what you know is a healthy choice. What I mean is that self-trust gives you the ability to trade instant gratification for a commitment to a goal that will take an indefinite period of time to achieve. Building health is, after all, a long-term project!
Self-trust means that you are more likely to persist, respond to challenges, and know that you have the ability to get back on track when things get messy. For example, when you have blown your eating plan or haven’t exercised in a while, you get back on track instead of giving up.
It means that you have the ability to adjust, to stay flexible, and to come up with other solutions when something isn’t working. Perhaps your circumstances and your schedule has changed (as it probably has because of the pandemic). Flexibility allows you to come up with new solutions that you may not have had to use in the past.
Applying self-trust to the holidays (and beyond).
So, in these times when things appear to be “unprecedented”, let’s take stock of what we have. Yes, we have many changes and lots of challenges. Your diet and exercise goals are only part of the challenges we face now. But, just as we can use self-trust to keep us on track with our health goals, we can trust ourselves to find creative new ways to take care of ourselves and others as the future unfolds. Our holidays may have been upended, but it does give us the opportunity to realize that we can do things differently and still thrive.
You’ve got this!
Stay well and Happy Holidays,
© 2020 Kristen Carter. All rights reserved.