Stress is a common phenomenon of a hectic workday, when everything speeds up to an unmanageable pace, especially during holiday time. Stressing over credit card debt, gift-giving, and scheduling can easily take over. What do you do? Relax! Here are 10 ways to relax during this holiday season.
1. Think positive
The holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but don’t focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger the your body’s stress response, just as a real threat does. Remember, it’s time to celebrate with your family and friends (even if they do stress you out!). An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way.
2. Power Nap
You may not have the time for a lazy Sunday morning lounging in bed, but a short power nap in the middle of the day will lower your stress hormone levels enough to make visiting your in-laws bearable. Skip the snooze button in the morning – studies have shown that a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day provides more rest than staying in bed an extra 20 minutes in the morning. And don’t forget to close the blinds and shut off your cell phone for minimal distractions.
3. Indulge in happy foods
Chocolate has been proven to increase serotonin in your brain, relieving depression and stress, so eat it!
4. Say “no” without guilt
Just do it. Say, “no.” No, you can’t carpool the entire basketball team; no, you can’t bake six dozen cookies for the bake sale; no, you can’t fit one more roll-away bed for an extra guest. It doesn’t make you mean. Suggest other things that work better for your schedule. Taking on too much is one of the biggest reasons we’re so stressed this time of year.
5. Get some fresh air
Cool, crisp air is a wonderful thing. It clears your head. Changing your scenery can help change your perspective and stress level, too.
6. Tea Time
To help slow things down and relax a bit, brew a cup of tea. This simple action can create profound results. Unlike chugging an ice-cold drink, sipping something hot takes time and a bit of patience. A cup of herbal tea like chamomile, known for its relaxing qualities, can provide a moment of calm and help you recharge so you have energy to tackle the rest of your day.
7. Finish shopping before December 15th
Last second shopping is a huge stress trigger. Work extra hard to get everything done early, and then sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday.
8. Spike that eggnog!
Have a drink! Now, don’t get sloppy and fall into the tree, but a cocktail here and there can help you to relax and de-stress a little.
9. Change something about your look
How about a different hair color or makeup palette? Even a subtle change in our appearance can help us de-stress a little and perk up.
10. Don’t sweat anything not worth sweating over
Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Focus your energy on enjoying the people in your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable!
How do you like to unwind during the holiday season? Do you already do some of the things on this list? The holidays don’t have to be stressful if you plan ahead, keep priorities in check, and remember to spread the joy!
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