Emotional Holiday Workout - Don't Pull an Emotion Hammy This Holiday Season

A key to not getting injured in sport is a proper warm up and cool down. So, I figure, why not translate that to holiday efforts!?! 

Here's some ideas! Feel free to add your own!

Warm up:

  1. Set intention. In sports, you can't control your competitors, you can only control focus and effort. Same is true with family. Focus on your performance. Maybe you want to be kind. Maybe you want to be honest. Set a goal or intention.

  2. Get a pep talk. Maybe have a trusted friend or family member encourage you. Maybe you have a mantra ala SNL's "you're good enough, you're smart enough, and, gosh darn it, people like you" or Cool Running's "I see pride, I see power, I see a bad-ass motha who don't take no crap off of nobody!" You get it. 

  3. Use visualization. There was a study in sports psychology where people actually improved their 3 point shots by visualizing. You can use this with family or work events. Visualize it going well. Visualize yourself remaining true to your intention regardless of the shit-storm you may encounter. 

  4. Use music. There's a million songs that you can use to pump yourself up. Find music that's encouraging of your strength or that centers you. I don't suggest Rage Against the Machine or Eminem or anything that puts you in a war like, me vs them, dog eat dog mindset. 

Cool down:

  1. Stretch. Really. If it was tense emotionally, your body's going to be tense. Stretch and release your shoulders, neck, and jaw for sure. 

  2. Breathe. Deep breathes into your belly. Try to make your breath in and breath out equal on length (example four counts inhale and four counts exhale)

  3. Debrief and process with a trusted someone. Try not to complain or rant too much. Focus on your experience and feelings.

  4. Use music. Make a playlist for your drive home or to play before bed that is calming and soothing and re-centering. 

  5. Come back to your intention. How did you do? What can you learn? What can you be grateful for? 

Go get 'em tiger!