The holidays season is an exciting time of year. The chance to see family, friends, celebrate good cheer, and, of course, gifts! But it can also be a very stressful time. Finding and buying gifts, holiday gatherings, multiple events in one day. We can end up stretching ourselves thin during this season and sometimes we start to lose sight of what’s important—spending time with our loved ones. Here are some tips to help manage your stress and enjoy your time this season because after a hard year’s work we deserve to enjoy it.
- Write everything down. You’ll definitely want to start off with writing every event, task, or thing you’re supposed to do. If you don’t use a planner it may be a good time to start, even just using the calendar app on your phone can make a huge difference. Once everything is set in your planner or calendar then you can take a breath from, “wasn’t I supposed to do something next week?” and end up double booking yourself. Keeping track of duties and events like this is a great way to stay on task and make the most of your time. Productivity and efficiency are important during busy periods.
- It’s OK to say no. It’s really hard to turn someone down but it’s OK to think about what is best for you. If you’re already engaged in two things tomorrow, you don’t have to do that third event. If you’re not going to have fun and it’s not a priority then just gently let them know, “thank you, but I can’t make it.” It might be a bummer but your stress-levels will thank you later.
- Enjoy the moment. Remember to stop and take in your surroundings. Feel the moment and really be present for what is happening around you. You don’t want to be worrying about the next thing you need to do when you should be more focused on enjoying where you’re at now. These are the opportunities to create the memories you’ll look back fondly at later on.
- Sleep. This one may seem tricky but it’s ever so important. Sleep really is the pinnacle of everything. It will recharge you for the next day so you’re ready to go at full capacity. You don’t want to zombie through a holiday party or nodding off during your child’s recital. Remember to get as much sleep as you can each night. The American Sleep Association recommends the average person get 8 hours of sleep (some people can function fully with less and others need more). Take some time before bed by creating a nighttime routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep. It can include meditation, bathtime, reading, or planning your next day. Anything that will relax and get you in the mindset to sleep.
- Eat. Properly. The holidays are notorious for overindulging but sometimes we can get too busy to even remember to eat. Strike a balance. Yes, you probably have a million things happening so stock up on some protein bars or healthy snacks to keep you going through the day. A clear, not-hungry mind is important for staying on task, staying alert, and not being cranky. At holiday events, be mindful of what you are eating and how much. This isn’t a time to necessarily be stingy to your taste buds but you don’t want to do anything you’ll regret later. Small portions, like at a buffet-style dinner, allows you get try a variety of things and leave opportunity for a second plate of your favorites. If you want to eat the cake, by all means, eat the cake but think about the serving size that is appropriate for you. While cutting yourself off from certain foods works for some people, it can make others binge so figuring out a method that works for you is important.
The important thing to remember is that the holiday season is a great time to see friends, family, and even enjoying some time to yourself. We hope the end of the year brings you cheer and the start of 2019 is a joyous one.