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Are You In Seasonal Reaction Mode?

What is “seasonal reaction mode?” you ask? Waiting for January 1st to start a new health program or running around shopping for presents instead of a usual after-work walk are two examples of being seasonally reactive. Keep reading to find out more about this state which most of our society falls in and out of throughout the year!

We first alluded to what Gidon Gabbay has coined “seasonal reaction” back in mid-September when we published, Summer is NOT Over (and Neither is Your Program). It was based on Gidon’s observations of how most people, despite beautiful lingering summer weather, were mourning the end of summer before it was even the first day of fall!

Is it a coincidence stores were already stocking for Halloween in those weeks? We don’t think so. The economy is driven by sales and marketers are always pushing us towards the next holiday or season as soon as the current one ends (and sometimes even before the wrappers have hit the curb).

What is ‘Seasonal Reaction?’

As personal trainers, we hear it all the time from potential clients, I’m very excited for you to help me meet my health/fitness goals! BUT, I’ll get in touch with you after the holidays…or closer to the spring… or once my summer holidays end… or right after Thanksgiving…

When our behaviour and decisions are driven by the seasons and/or socio-economic forces, we are being “seasonally reactive.”

While certain times of the year can be motivating for many people, what happens when that time ends? Yes, the biggest challenge of change is actually starting, but the second most difficult challenge is maintaining that change. If your motivation is time-based, then what will motivate you to continue once that time has passed?

Rather than being reactive, Gidon encourages clients to be proactive. For instance, he’s trained in exercise rehabilitation but touts regular exercise (especially lead by a fitness professional) as one of the best preventative measures against injuries. (Read Think “Prehab” Instead of Rehab for more on this.)

How to Get Out of Seasonal Reaction Mode

All of us only have 24 hours in a day. We must work in order to have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies. So work is a priority and even more importantly, one can argue that without our health, we cannot work nor can we enjoy life on our personal time.

Choosing to be proactive means that self-care (i.e. providing our bodies what it needs to function optimally) is the number one priority. (Read our article on time management for self-care in Give Yourself the Gift of “Me Time.”)

So our advice is to start your health program NOW. Don’t wait for the holidays to end and January 1st to arrive. Carve healthy eating and exercise into your weekly schedule immediately. Start TODAY. (Read What!? Start Our New Year’s Resolutions Now? for more on this and some tips.)

Holiday Stress-Busting Tips

  1. You may be surprised to find through healthy living (which includes healthy eating, exercise, stretching, meditation and proper sleep), you’ll bust any holiday stress that comes your way!
  2. To be a bit more specific, here are 9 tips to avoid holiday weight-gain (this fear can really be stressful!) and still enjoy your holiday season.
  3. Stop right now with all your holiday preparations. Review your remaining time (there is 17 days left until Christmas Day from the published date of this article). If you’re making time for healthy living and you must work, can you realistically fit in all the holiday preparations you had in mind? If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed thinking of the next few weeks, then scale back in your holiday prep plans. Choose the most important for yourself, the prep you really want to do to make your holiday special and cut out all avoidable stress.

We hope this article has provided some self-awareness if you are in seasonal reaction mode, and inspired you to jump out of this reactive state and into a more conscious, proactive state of being.

If you’re convinced a less stressful holiday season can be accomplished but you require some assistance in creating a health and fitness program suitable for you, please contact us for a complimentary consultation session