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Is Your Maestro MIA?

Is Your Maestro MIA?

As everybody is busy getting ready for back-to school, I’d like to make sure that wellness is on your radar this school year. So let’s do a quick activity together. Think of your favorite piece of music. In fact, why don’t you play it in your head. If you have more than one, chose something upbeat. Got it?

Now imagine that a few of the musicians playing this tune are having an off day, not rendering the best possible version of your song. Could you still enjoy the song? I bet that to some degree, you could, mainly because you’d be able to know what it’s supposed to sound like.

In our health promotion model, sleep is akin to an orchestra's maestro

In our health promotion model, sleep is akin to an orchestra’s maestro

OK. Now suppose that several musicians are out of sync. Maybe the percussions are lagging behind, maybe the melody isn’t quite right, or maybe the harmonies aren’t so… harmonious. In this case, what is typically your favorite piece of music probably wouldn’t sound the least appealing to you anymore.

Turning Music into a Health Promotion Model

Our lifestyles work just the same way. If you’ve been following this blog for a little while, you know that we are all about good sleep, food, mood and exercise habits. So if life were music…

  • Sleep would be the maestro, because it coordinates a lot of the biochemical activity that affects the rest of our choices and behaviors
  • Mood would be the melody – giving the tone for the day
  • Food would be the harmonies – enhancing or completely modifying the tone of the melody
  • Exercise would be the percussions – giving us energy and rhythm

If one of these groups of habits isn’t quite optimal, chances are you can “get away” with it – just like you could imagine your favorite song with a few musicians having an off day. But if 2 or more of these 4 groups of habits aren’t exactly healthy, then I bet you aren’t enjoying your life to the fullest – just like you wouldn’t enjoy your favorite song if many musicians were out of sync.

If that’s your case, I recommend you work on your sleep habits. Just like a strong maestro can get all the musicians in line, sleep will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of getting abundant results with minimal effort. Sleep really is the gift that keeps on giving. And for those of you who are most sleep deprived, our book contains a full section on sleep habits, giving you 10 strategies to try.

If you’re done with feeling guilty for not doing what you know you should do, if everyday feels like a race to please “every body” but your own (!) or if you’re just tired of being tired, use our health promotion model to get yourself back in shape. Life can be more harmonious, I promise! 😉

MJ Shaar – in 20 seconds


MJ is one of the most sought-after experts blending positive psychology and health promotion. She spent over 15 years coaching, teaching, speaking, researching and testing smart health habits. Marie-Josée Shaar received her undergrad at McGill University in Organizational Behavior, followed by a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. She's certified as a Wellness Culture Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.

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