How to Keep Your Stress Levels Low this Holiday Season
Stressors during the holidays come in all forms. From the kids and their holiday school activities, endless shopping, to office parties for you or your spouse, and plenty of family get-togethers. There’s a lot of out-of-the-norm activities that will require extra planning and preparation. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy rather than stress during one of the most wonderful times of the year.
Get Lots of Sunlight
With the change in daylight savings and shorter days, it’s more important than ever to get adequate sunlight. Without enough sunlight exposure, your serotonin levels can dip to low levels and contribute to feeling the blues, leaving you with less energy and enthusiasm to tackle the work ahead. With so much to be excited for, keep your mental health at optimum by getting enough sunlight.
It’s important to know your limits. Be mindful of where your threshold lies when it comes to scheduling your days and weeks. Give yourself enough time in advance to get things done, and spread out the work over the course of days and weeks, rather than lumping all your tasks into one day or one weekend.
Start Early & Pace Yourself
Similar to the tip above, this is a lifesaver. Get your holiday gift shopping done early and online wherever possible. With the development of online shopping services, it’s never been easier to purchase from the comfort of your home and pick up what you need or have it delivered to your home. From groceries to home goods, take advantage of shopping and delivery apps like Instacart and Curbside.
Eat Well & Maintain Regular Exercise
I’m sure you’ve heard this year after year, but busy days mean less time for exercise and proper nutrition (in truth, it’s more challenging to adhere to when we’re feeling stressed, rather than not having enough time). The simple answer is that we often let our diets go wayside during the holidays because there is an abundance of delicious food and events that make it hard to stick to a healthy meal plan, and we, of course, want to partake in all the fun. That’s what makes the holidays great. But to keep up with the holiday tasks ahead, you need the energy. If you’re feeling exhausted, funny enough, exercise and meal portions will do the trick!
Make Time for Your Favorite Past Times
From reading to daily outdoor walks, Netflix marathons, meditation, or catching up on your favorite YouTube video tutorials, don’t forgo your past times just because things are hectic. Keep your regularly scheduled activities, or simply cushion time at the end of your day to continue these happy rituals. They’re your go-to for when the stress gets unbearable and will help you unwind and decompress.
Breathe in Your Favorite Holiday Scents
Cinnamon, hot cocoa, wintergreen, pine, and more. One of the easiest ways to soothe the mind is through relaxing, centering scents. Get your favorite holiday candle and fill the house with the smell of joy and festivities. Remind yourself that this is what all your work is about–the celebration of family.
Focus on Family
At the end of the day, regardless of whether plans work out or not, or disagreements arise because everyone is tired and exhausted, remember to focus on family. We don’t know what the new year will bring, but the holidays are moments in time we will cherish forever. The laughter, the joy, even the disappointments. Nothing good comes without a little bad. But that’s what makes it memorable. It’s okay to feel happy and sad, especially during this time of the year, just recenter and remember who you’re doing all this wonderful work for: for yourself and for your beautiful family.