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A Holiday Unlike Any Other: Tips for Navigating the Season

With Jen Elmquist, LMFT, director of Life Time Mind

Season 14, Episode 14  | December 1, 2020

There are a lot of reasons the holidays can be challenging — especially this year. Jen Elmquist, LMFT, director of Life Time Mind, offers a toolbox of tips for handling the holidays in the midst of a pandemic, from changing traditions to complicated relationships to coping with all the other emotions we’re feeling as we approach the season.

Jen Elmquist

Jen Elmquist, LMFT, is the director of Life Time Mind, Life Time’s performance coaching program, as well as the author of Relationship Reset.

All of us are facing a different kind of holiday this year. These are a few of the tips Elmquist offers to help us navigate the areas where we may be struggling.

  • Struggling with the pandemic? Feel your feelings. This year you may be grieving — for those you’ve lost, for traditions, for normalcy. Grief and memory are connected, so smells, sights, and sounds of the season can make it more pronounced. Know you’re not alone and do what you can to care for yourself.
  • Missing long-time traditions? Mix it up. With everything up in the air, you have the flexibility to try things differently — and let go of things you feel stuck in or obligated to. Who knows, you may discover or create a new tradition you love.
  • Trying to balance varying boundaries? Start with you. Step back and ask yourself, “What do I feel comfortable with? What’s best for me? What’s best for the people I love and care about?”
  • Having a hard time with differing perspectives? Self-assess your emotions. If you feel charged just thinking about a topic, it’s a good indication it’s not the best time to have a conversation about it. If you do talk, enter with curiosity and aim to listen, not just hear.

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Transcript: A Holiday Unlike Any Other: Tips for Navigating the Season

Season 14, Episode 14  | December 1, 2020

Jamie Martin 
Welcome to Life Time Talks, the healthy-living podcast that’s aimed at helping you achieve your health, fitness, and life goals. I’m Jamie Martin, editor in chief of Experience Life, Life Time’s whole-life health and fitness magazine.

David Freeman 
And I’m David Freeman, the national program leader for Life Time’s Alpha program. We’re all in different places along our health and fitness journey, but no matter what we’re working toward, there are some essential things we can do to keep moving forward in the direction of a healthy, purpose-driven life.

Jamie Martin 
In each episode of this season, we’ll break down various elements of healthy living, including fitness and nutrition, mindset and community, and health issues. We’ll also share real, inspiring stories of transformation.

David Freeman 
And we’ll be talking to experts from Life Time and beyond who’ll share their insights and knowledge, so you’ll have the tools and information you need to take charge of your next steps. Here we go.

[Music]

Jamie Martin
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[Music]

Jamie Martin
Hey, everyone. I’m Jamie Martin.

David Freeman
And I’m David Freeman.

Jamie Martin
And welcome to Life Time Talks. In this episode, we’re talking about the upcoming holidays. A topic that I know so many of us are figuring out how to to have conversations about with family and friends, and we’re trying to grapple with the ongoing pandemic and how to approach them. It’s an emotional topic, it’s one that I personally have been struggling with, I know David you and I have had conversations around this, holidays hold special meaning for so many of us, and so we wanted to bring this to you guys.

David Freeman
Yes, and to help us actually get through some of these emotions and challenges that we’re facing, we’re welcoming back miss Jen Elmquist to the podcast. And if you don’t remember, I’m going to remind everybody, Jen is a licensed family and marriage therapist, as well as our director for Life Time Mind, which is Life Time’s performance coaching program, and she gave us a lot to think about within our conversation. Jamie, what are some takeaways you had?

Jamie Martin
Yeah, I mean, Jen, we’ve been so lucky to have her on the podcast a few times now, and she always comes with so many perspectives to help us figure out how to approach different challenging circumstances in our lives. I think the thing that she said that resonated most with me — and it’s probably because it’s a mantra that I use myself through both challenging and special times in my life is her mentioning that this is temporary. Yes, this is a really, really, hard period, we don’t know how long it’s going to last, but it too shall pass like so many things do. And if that means for this one year this hard time is going to exist through the holidays, a time when we’re used to spending time with the people that we love most, hopefully it will be just this one year, and we’ll approach it in a new way for this period of time and maybe discover some new things and traditions in this period and then hopefully by next year we’ll be able to resume some of the ways we did things in the past. And I think that’s just, for me, remembering that nothing is permanent, everything is constantly changing, and as we learn new things we’re hopefully going to be able to get back to some sense of normalcy at some point, but for now, we’ve just got to embrace where we are and figure out this is what it is for this year and be OK with it. So, that’s where my head is at, but she said so many amazing things and David I’d love to hear your thoughts or your thoughts on this whole temporary thing.

David Freeman
I mean, I think you just hit the nail on the head. To key words that I heard you say just now was discovery and change. And when I think of change, it’s inevitable as you said, but it’s also a growing piece, it’s how we evolve as humans, and one of my great mentors always said, always reinvent yourself. The individual I was at 20 versus the individual that I am now at 27 I’ve learned so much through my experiences. And we’ve had so many experiences through 2020. What you end up taking from those experiences and how you move forward as Jen kind of put forth within going into 2021 is what really matters. What you discovered about yourself in this year really matters and what you do with that, so, I’m looking forward to everybody giving feedback on this episode and hopefully it puts them in a great mindset that going into the holidays and beyond.

Jamie Martin
Absolutely. And, you know, we started this conversation and we framed it up with Jen as we’re going to navigate the holidays during the pandemic from why we feel the way we do, why is this hard, but I think what’s interesting is the holidays, no matter if there’s a pandemic or not, can be challenging, and we did go into that as well too, how to navigate the holidays in general, and then adding that layer of the pandemic as well. So there’s a lot here. There’s lots about setting boundaries, having courageous conversations, about listening to yourself, and I’m excited for you, our listeners, to tune in and to share your thoughts on this because it really is something that we each as individuals are figuring out how to handle.

David Freeman
Yeah, without further ado guys, we’ve only got a few weeks left in this year, so let’s go into this episode with an open mind and let’s look forward to the future. You ready?

Jamie Martin
Ready, let’s go.

David Freeman
Alright.

[Music]

Jamie Martin
Hi, everyone. We’re back with another episode of Life Time Talks, and we are really, really excited to welcome back Jen Elmquist. Jen, this officially makes you our most frequent guest on Life Time Talks. This is your third time on.

Jen Elmquist
Well, I am honored.

Jamie Martin
It’s so fun. Alright. So, we are going to be talking about the holidays, the upcoming holiday season, which I know is on a lot of people’s minds right now, but first before we get into that, I want to ask you just how are you doing? How is everything going for you? This year has drug on and on and on, and just wondering where your head is with stuff.

Jen Elmquist
Well, we talked early, Jamie, about the fact that when we first had this conversation, I think we all thought, David, we all thought that this was not going to still be ongoing now before we hit the holidays. I mean, it’s pretty remarkable that we are in this spot all these many months later, but you know, I have to say I’m probably doing as best as anybody with managing the uncertainty, with managing things that continue to be just destabilizing, but at the same time I find myself at this point feeling some relief and actually feeling kind of proud of how I’ve been able to make it through this far, and actually thrive. I think we have been able to pick out our silver linings and the things out of this, and hopefully that’ll kind of shine through this conversation too as we talk about, you know, how do we go into the holidays and how do we kind of face this new year that’s coming at us?

David Freeman
Yeah. It always amazes me. I mean, you take on so many different personas, so many different individuals come to you with whatever issues or opportunities that they bring to the table and how you help navigate them through a lot of that. So, master of the mind I like to call you, and how we get through certain things. You definitely are a great resource for that. So, we got holidays coming up. We got holidays within December that individuals celebrate, and then you go into the new year. So, what are you hearing as far as the worries from individuals that you come in contact with and how are you kind of helping them with that process?

Jen Elmquist
You know, I kind of separate the concerns. There’s two big concerns I hear people sharing right now, and one is the obvious, right, that concern about gathering and traveling. So, do we do it? Do we not do it? If we are going to, how are we going to do it? What is it going to look like? You know, there’s a lot of logistics around that for people right now depending upon kind of their level of vulnerability, their level of anxiety, the vulnerability of the people in their lives and what that means, and so I think that’s a big concern for a lot of people obviously, but secondarily I think there is a concern about loss of tradition, things being different, you know, having to face this time of year that I think we all reserve for some relief and relaxation, some gathering with people we maybe don’t see very often, and so there’s some loss around that for people, and things just aren’t going to be the way that they have been before, and I think especially for families that have elderly family members that they haven’t been able to see, or maybe the holidays are kind of a prime time when they do get to see those people, I think there is some grief around not being able to collectively be together as a multigenerational family this year.

Jamie Martin
Well, it’s the things we’ve always done, you know? Like, we always do this on, you know, whether it’s Christmas Eve or Hanukkah or whatever holiday celebrate, like those things that we’ve always done, and to think about letting that go or feeling of . . . it feels like breaking something or breaking a tradition in your life, and you know, why do people get attached to those things? Why is it so emotionally challenging to let things go?

Jen Elmquist
Yeah. Well, I think we long for that type of certainty and that type of stability in our lives, and traditions are definitely ways that we can mark year upon year some stability, you know, and we can go into, you know, there’s a lot of circumstances that make the holidays challenging for people, but I think for the most part we drive to those moments that we all get together with the people that we love, whether that is our actual family or our chosen family, that we can feel some warmth and connectedness. We’re away from work usually during that time, you know? So, we have a lot invested in that, and that is kind of the fabric, those threads that hold us together over the decades.

David Freeman
Yeah. I like what you said there as far as when we get to be around family, we get to go away from work and we get to unplug, and I will take it a step further. It’s a sensory experience. We get to see, touch, and feel, which gives us that nostalgic feeling. So, like you know what it smells like when the pies are in the oven, or you smell the cornbread, or you see the family over the years that you’ve seen over, I don’t know, the past 5 to 10 years, and you constantly have seen it for so long and now for that to be shifted, it does create ripples. So, the question I have for you is how do we create these thoughtful conversations about changing plans and doing things differently within a year?

Jen Elmquist
You know, David, I think probably before we even engage in conversations with our family members, it’s really important to step back and ask ourselves that question of what is best kind of . . . first, what do I feel comfortable with? What feels best for me? And then really in an empathetic way, what’s best for the people that I love and care about, right? I think it’s two-fold right now, and so before we even enter the conversation, having some clarity around what actually feels best for me and what feels best for those that I love, and then once we have that clarity, we’re entering the conversation really being able to state some sort of personal kind of thoughtful boundary I guess is what I would call it, right? So, you know, if you’re going to talk . . . let’s say, you know, you have parents that might be in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and there may be some risk to them and you may want to limit your time because that doesn’t quite feel safe for you to be with them. You know, the conversation then becomes I love you so much and I’ve thought a lot about this already and this is what I’m thinking. What are you thinking? You know, that then can be that careful and thoughtful dialogue between people.

Jamie Martin
One thing that you’ve said in the past . . . well, I think one thing you touched on there before we go onto this is you’re talking a little bit about like assessing that personal risk assessment, right? Like, taking a look at that what am I comfortable with, and then being willing to share that in a really honest and vulnerable way because I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had some of those conversations and it’s been really hard to say hey, you know, I don’t know that we’re going to be there this year and here’s kind of my boundaries in order for us to be able to partake in some way, shape, or form, and it’s created some challenges, you know, hard conversations from that, like just being on different pages, and that has been really something that I am just having to emotionally come to grips with. Like, it’s just going to have to be this way for this year, and so it’s kind of, it goes back to something, Jen, you’ve said in, whether it’s a previous podcast or things you’ve written, but like what’s the worst that would happen if this tradition went away? You know, kind of like what’s, you know, or maybe there’s some good things that come out of it. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on that?

Jen Elmquist
You know, it’s so interesting because for years in private practice doing coaching and doing counseling, this was a very busy time of year, and it was very busy because people usually came in with that conversation of how do I strategize around the holidays? Because I either have these challenging relationships that I need to strategize around, or I kind of need to strategize around my own health. Like, how do I make sure I don’t overeat? How do I make sure I don’t overdrink, you know? I mean, there’s actually real things that stress us out under normal circumstances when we get to the holiday, and I think you’re talking a little bit about that, Jamie, when you say, you know, some family members or friends, it’s a more challenging time to be with them, and so we do kind of have to have strategies on how we’re going to have a conversation with them or how are we going to spend time with them. That’s a very real thing that people normally deal with, and I think actually one of the benefits, or maybe a silver lining to right now, is that because everything’s up in the air, because everything is changing, it allows us actually to have the flexibility of doing things differently. You know, so it may be that there are . . . we talk about the value of traditions and the things we love about traditions, but there can also be things that we feel stuck in or we feel obligated to or there’s been this expectation over the years, and this is actually giving us an opportunity to switch things up and do things differently, which that’s how we can look at it and say this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us to try it a little different. It doesn’t mean we have to do it this way, hopefully, next year or the years following, but to have one year where we kind of shake it up and see maybe I enjoy this more or maybe I feel healthier when this year’s over because there weren’t as many parties or I didn’t feel as obligated to go out, or maybe our family relationships were a little bit better because we didn’t have that really tense Thanksgiving dinner talking about the election or whatever it might be.

Jamie Martin
Right. Right.

David Freeman
Well, I like how you framed that up because that kind of leads me into the next question. There’s so many different things that are already challenging when it comes to the holidays and how to plan for them, right, and then when you think of the challenges that we face, relationships. I feel like a lot of cracked eggs might have been exposed within personal relationships, whether you’re married, boyfriend girlfriend, friendships, whatever it might be there. How do we navigate through those circumstances? And I’m going to throw a little bone at you, but I suggested to a lot of individuals, I said having the conversation is a start, and understanding that within those conversations we might not see eye to eye, but understand we’re having the conversation. If I come to you and I come to Jamie with us thinking alike and we are always saying yes and nodding our heads, then we feel good about our situation because everybody’s in agreement.

Jen Elmquist
Yeah.

David Freeman
I say the growth is going to happen from those conversations that might not be the heads going up and down. So, but I want to kind of take your expertise within this as far as within the different views on the pandemic, within politics, and anything and everything else, what would you say for that and how would you suggest individuals go about that as well?

Jen Elmquist
Well, what you bring up, I think there’s a reality of what this does for people, and then I’m going to propose a way to approach it, and so the reality is, is when we start talking about the pandemic right now or we start talking about politics, we start treading into territory that are where people’s values lie, and when we step on people’s values we step on their emotions, and when we step on emotions we get a reaction, right? So, if you’re going to enter into those conversations, it’s first of all knowing that it is going to stir you emotionally and it most likely is going to stir who you’re speaking with emotionally, and so knowing yourself well enough to know if on, you know, the holiday if that’s the only day you see each other, maybe twice a year, do you want to spend the time in that type of emotional conversation if you don’t know that you can manage your emotions in that conversation? I think that’s really, really important, but to what you were saying, David, which is when we can actually engage with each other in some sort of what we call conflict or difference of opinion, what we actually get to do is we get to learn. We get to grow. We get to expand. We deeply get to know and understand each other better that way, and if we then can enter in a conversation from a position of curiosity, right? We can say OK, I understand this may trigger my emotions, but can I control my emotions enough and set them aside to be curious about this person that I love, to be curious about how they see the world, to be curious about what I don’t know about them? And I maybe even learn something from how they see the world, and when we do that I think it’s easy. It’s easy to be with people, like you said, and nod and agree with each other, but when we can hold our own emotions tightly enough that we can be curious, man, we can expand, right? That can be a very expansive conversation.

David Freeman
Let me piggyback off that because I recently connected with one of your colleagues, Barbara Powell, and she talked about mindful communication. So, I always like action items that we can probably give our listeners. Going into a conversation, how can we probably potentially know if they’re ready for it, and is there certain questions they can ask their self before engaging in a conversation so people understand how to kick off that conversation, or maybe this is not the right time for the conversation? Do you have any tips?

Jen Elmquist
Yeah. Well, I think the first one is to assess how emotionally charged am I about this right now, right? And if you’re feeling emotional just thinking about it, that’s probably a pretty good indication that you aren’t in a position to have that conversation. I think secondarily if what you find is as you start talking with someone that you care about and you love and you see the emotions getting to a place where to diffuse them or bring them down is going to be very difficult, that’s an indication that it’s not probably worth continuing to press the conversation, and a way that you can step back from that is even to say hey, you know what? It’s OK for you to have your opinion. It’s OK for me to have mine, but gosh, I love you and I’m really happy to be with you. What else can we talk about right now? You know, so again, that puts a boundary then around that conversation. That can be challenging to do in the moment. You know, most people might think well, how do I do that in the moment? Well, I always tell people you always have the second before you say something. You always have the second before you say something to think about doing something else, right? So, take a breath. Take a second and decide do I want to say that next statement? Do I want to ask that next question, or is this the moment where I can actually just back down and redirect the conversation to a different topic?

[Music]

Jamie Martin
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[Music]

Jamie Martin
So, I want to go back to this. You mentioned the word curiosity and talking about how to approach these, and I think part of being curious is also being willing to listen. You know, listening is one of those things in communication that we always, often we say like you’re talking, but am I really listening to what you’re saying or am I thinking of my response?

Jen Elmquist
Yeah.

Jamie Martin
Talk a little bit about listening and why that matters when you’re curious.

Jen Elmquist
There is such a difference between hearing and listening. Like, I often tell people too there’s such a difference between looking and seeing, and one of the primary differences is when we listen, we actually should be able to repeat back to someone a version of what they said that they would agree matches what they meant, right? So, that’s actually, in communication it’s called a shared meaning, and it’s a great way to slow yourself down internally to say I want to be able to repeat back. So, this is what I hear you saying, and be able to have the person say yeah, that’s what I meant, right? So, you know, in a really simple way that is how we can increase our listening muscle is by challenging ourselves as we’re hearing the words to be able to repeat them back.

Jamie Martin
Yeah. You’re being heard, right? It gives that person that acknowledgment of being heard and understood, whether you’re agreed with or not, but there’s that common ground that you found in being able to do the talk back, right, in some ways.

Jen Elmquist
Yes, and I think what you’re asking me about curiosity is that actually shows that you’re curious. You know, if I can say back what you just said, that means that we’re actually listening, and I can say Jamie, I hear you saying that it’s important to you that I’m listening to you so that you feel heard, and that you’re saying it feels good to be heard, and you can say yes, that’s what I mean. It feels good to be heard. That’s curiosity in action, right, because I’m checking in that this is what you mean, and you’re saying yes, that is what I meant.

Jamie Martin
I feel like we’ve gone deeper on the holidays than like holidays in a pandemic. Man, I love this. Holidays in general 101, how to navigate those tough and sometimes challenging situations.

David Freeman
I want to put it into practice, alright? Real time practice right now. So, the three tips you just gave, I want to make sure I heard you correctly and how I interpret it. So, the first tip you ended up saying is if you’re emotionally charged before going into the conversation, that is a great hint that you probably don’t want to approach that conversation until that diffuses, right?

Jen Elmquist
Yes.

David Freeman
So, that was the first tip. Then the next one, don’t add fuel to the fire. So, if you’re seeing the person, the individual that you’re talking to starting to get heated, you’re starting to see that emotion arise, you need to be aware and acknowledge that versus continue to add fuel to that fire, right, and the last one, which, all of them are powerful, but this one stood out the most to me because I think it’s so hard for individuals to do this is to be able to acknowledge that we are not seeing eye to eye. Hey, but I love you, and right now I want to take a step back and let’s focus on something else. Man, that was the three that I got. Did I hear you correctly on those?

Jen Elmquist
You heard me correctly, David, and you actually shared it back in a more succinct and effective way than I shared it with you. Thank you for listening.

Jamie Martin
I love that. OK. So, I want to shift back to something. You mentioned grief earlier, Jen, and the holidays for a lot of people are already a hard time because of missing people, and now in this year that we’re in, you know, we’re grieving loss of many of the things. Talk to us a little bit about grief and why it can feel more pronounced this time of year?

Jen Elmquist
Grief and memory are powerful friends, and our memory resides in our senses, and so, David, you mentioned earlier holiday traditions aren’t just about what we do with each other or the actions we take. It’s the whole sensory experience. It’s, you know, it’s the smells. It’s the sights. It’s the songs that we hear. You know, so many of those sensory experiences are connected to what we love, and when they’re connected to people that we love that aren’t with us any longer, it pronounces their absence greatly, and we long for the time that that person was still there, that that seat wasn’t vacant, that we had that love and connection, and so holidays are particularly poignant when it comes to grief and loss, and you know, extrapolated beyond the grief of an individual, which is incredibly difficult, I think this year people have even other losses to add to this. You know, they may have financial losses. They may not be able to do their holidays the way that they normally do, and they’re going to feel that. There’s going to be an absence in that, you know? There may be losses of meaning and how you matter, and unemployment during the holidays can be really challenging for people, and the loss becomes more poignant as you see celebration around you and you don’t feel like you want to celebrate because life doesn’t feel celebratory to you right now. So, it’s complicated, and you’re right, Jamie, the holidays magnify that.

Jamie Martin
And this year just feels different. I don’t know. David, how do you feel about the holidays coming up? I’m curious to hear from you as well. Like, what are your thoughts?

David Freeman
Yeah. I mean, we kind of already knew that we were going to, you know, set up shop here and just make the most of it with our family here, the kids and my wife. We have some friends that are around the way as well that we might go and see, but we connected with our family ahead of time just what our thoughts were and our plans were and they were, you know, wildly aligned with it, and that’s the beautiful part about technology. I know it’s not the same as far as in person, but to be able to share, once again, the sensory experience, the smiles, the laughs, and for them to still feel that is still powerful. So, we planned ahead with what we were going to do, and I think we’re set up for success. We’ll see how it goes on the day, you know? You can always have a plan until, I think Mike Tyson said it, until somebody punches you then the plan goes out of the window, and obviously if people don’t know Mike Tyson, that’s a boxer. So, that’s what the reference is. We’re not encouraging violence there, but you always can have a plan, but something can always go completely opposite. So, I am looking forward to it. I’m approaching it as if, you know, we’re going to enjoy some food around the table. The kids are going to have fun, gifts and whatever else comes with the holidays. So, that’s how my mindset is around everything.

Jamie Martin
Jen, what about you? What’s your personal mindset? I know your family is kind of dispersed a little bit, not totally, but . . .

Jen Elmquist
We are, and we’ll have a small gathering of just our immediate family. Both of my kids will be home and most likely their significant others will be with us over the holidays too, but you know, I have parents in their 70s that are definitely concerned and have been very careful with what they’ve done and with their health and they won’t be traveling this year and they’re typically with us. So, we’ve been talking about what a Zoom Christmas looks like and how we can spend some time together doing some of our traditions maybe. You know, we do celebrate Christmas. So, we have some Christmas Eve traditions that we would normally have with family, and so we may do that virtually this year.

Jamie Martin
Nice. I know, I will say, I’ll admit it’s still in the planning mode for my family and it’s navigating and having some of these conversations, and for us it’s about being flexible, knowing that we can, to your point, David, plan as best we can, but depending on the circumstances and how everyone’s feeling, it’s like we’re just going to play it by ear, and I think what makes me grateful about that is we can play it by ear, but there are certain things that my immediate family has put into place over the past several years that have become our traditions that we have here no matter what, and so there are all those things with that little core of people that, you know, my girls are young and to be home on, you know, the main day. It’s just a matter of being willing to be flexible with stuff surrounding all of that, which I think works, but David, you mentioned, you know, having some friends you’re going to see, and Jen, you mentioned earlier chosen family, and I think that is something too. Like, if your family is not geographically close to you, I am hearing more and more people talk about kind of their pods and how they’re going to celebrate this holiday a little differently with the pods, and I don’t know, I love that, and I know we have kind of a couple core groups like that as well. What are your guys’ thoughts on that?

Jen Elmquist
I think that’s a great idea, and we likewise have some people that kind of in our pod, our gathering pod, that we’ve had, you know, dinners with periodically, and I think that’s really important. We normally throw a really big holiday party, and so there has been an ongoing conversation in our house and it’s kind of progressively gone like this. It went to well, maybe we just have a really small party this year, to maybe we have a drive-through open house in the driveway, to really coming down to, you know, at the end of the day if we play out this scenario, if we did get together and someone ended up getting sick or not, you know, not feeling well, we wouldn’t want that associated with our holiday gathering, and so maybe, you know, for a lot of people I think no matter who you’re gathering with kind of play out your scenario as to what you feel comfortable in the end, and if your pod feels really safe and those are people you’ve been continually getting together with, you know, that is a way I think of bolstering the spirit this year is making sure that you have some of those small gatherings that make you feel engaged and connected, and if it feels like too much of a risk, you know what? I have to believe, and I know we’ve said this every time we’ve talked, but this is temporary. I don’t think, you know, and especially from our American mindset, temporary being a year or two years doesn’t feel, that doesn’t feel temporary. That feels permanent, but it really isn’t. In the whole scope of life, it is a temporary period of time and it is not going to be our usual forever.

Jamie Martin
That’s actually the mantra that I shared with my team about a week or so ago. We were talking about our favorite mantras and what gets us through hard times, and I actually said this is temporary, and I’ve used that since I had kids because I feel like it can be good or bad. Like, you know, when you’re in a hard phase, it’s temporary and it’s going to pass. You know, this too shall pass, but when things are good, it’s also temporary, and so how do we just be present in this moment? And you know, yes, it’s hard, acknowledge that, but know that it doesn’t last forever. This will change too. So.

David Freeman
Are you ready for our power minute?

Jen Elmquist
Drum roll?

David Freeman
Drum roll.

Jamie Martin
We do do that sometimes, Jen.

David Freeman
Yeah. She knows it. Yeah. She’s the vet. Alright. So, I want to leave our listeners with something powerful, and I know that you’re going to definitely deliver on this. So, usually I always ask what do you want to leave our listeners with? The piece that I want to leave the listeners with is an exercise that you can deliver with them. We talked about all the differences within the pandemic, how travel’s all changed, and the losses of family and friends, and whatever else it might be going on in their lives. We talked about taking a breath, taking a moment. So, if you can give us an exercise to kind of put people in that safe place and just to leave this episode just, feeling great?

Jen Elmquist
Well, let’s do an exercise around new year because that’s really the endcap to this holiday season that we’re marching through now, and the irony is still not lost on me that this year is 2020, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means. You know, 2020 vision, clarity, being able to have a true viewpoint of where you’ve been and where you’re going, and so this is the exercise I would propose is that as we all march toward the end of this year, getting ready to move into a new year, a new dawn, a new place in 2021, I would ask you to spend a moment, a reflective 2020 moment, and ask yourself these two questions. The first, how has the experience of this last year made me better? And the second, how will I take this better version of myself forward into 2021? I think there’s no greater gift we could give what comes next than the best of ourselves out of a difficult time.

Jamie Martin
And that is a great way to close out this year, move into the next, and start thinking about what those possibilities are for ourselves, for our communities, for our world, right? Jen, thank you for once again joining us on the podcast. We love having you on and we hope you’ll come back again, make it number four.

Jen Elmquist
I am looking forward to a chat in 2021 and thank you so much. I love spending time with both of you.

[Music]

David Freeman
Thanks for joining us for this episode. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our conversation today and how you approach this aspect of healthy living in your own life. What works for you? Where do you run into challenges? Where do you need help?

Jamie Martin 
And if you have topics for future episodes, you can share those with us, too. Email us at lttalks@lt.life, or reach out to us on Instagram at @lifetime.life@jamiemartinel, or @freezy30 and use the hashtag #LifeTimeTalks. You can also learn more about the podcast at thesource.lifetime.life/podcasts.

David Freeman 
And if you’re enjoying Life Time Talks, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Feel free to write a review and also let others know about it, too. Take a screenshot of the episode and share it on social, share it with your friends, family, work buddies, life coach. You get the gist.

Jamie Martin 
Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next time on Life Time Talks.

[Music]

Jamie Martin

Life Time Talks is a production of Life Time — Healthy Way of Life. It is produced by Molly Schelper, with audio engineering by Peter Perkins and sound consulting by Coy Larson. A big thank you to the team who pulls each episode together and everyone who provided feedback.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have thoughts you’d like to share or topic ideas for future episodes? Email us at lttalks@lt.life.

The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.

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