Help Clients Accommodate Disruption. Part 3

This kind of exercise can be helpful and is useful in any behavior-change program. After clients have gone through this general visualization, ask them to think about physical activity. How have they been active during past holidays? What has worked before? What hasn’t? What kind of physical activities will fit into the holiday season this year?

Clients often come up with surprisingly simple strategies for enjoying the holidays and making more time for relaxation, fun and even exercise. As they remember past holidays, many are amused by their list of highlights; the mad rush to open presents is usually at the bottom of the list. Rather, special moments repeated year after year represent the holiday spirit for most people: special songs, foods, social gatherings.

Holiday low points often provide inspiration for change. Many clients bemoan the commercialization, media saturation and financial strain of the holidays. Some families decide to tone down the level of gift-giving and spend less time shopping and watching TV. Clients tend to fall into one of two camps when thinking about the holidays: having too much to do, or feeling lonely and left out. Some clients must try to do less and enjoy more. Others need encouragement to create opportunities for spending time with friends.

Most clients have something to say about holiday lifestyle. Many remember eating so much that they weren’t even enjoying some of the food, but ate because it was there. Some remember drinking too much, and feeling ill from overdoing it. Some clients find it easier to exercise during the holidays because they have more vacation days; others find that holiday busyness cuts into their exercise time.

After spending a little time anticipating the holidays, clients should be ready to create strategies to enjoy them. Hopefully, their strategies will include some opportunity for physical activity and, more important, a resolve to pick up where they left off before the holidays hit.

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September 3rd, 2012 - Posted in Fitness | | Comments Off

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