Let's be honest, the holiday season is the most enjoyable time of the year but also brutally stressful.
After a long year of joys and challenges, ups and downs, it is that time of the year to rest, both physically and mentally. A time to reflect on the year, the goals you achieved and those you missed and energize for the incoming year. All this is part of the holiday season. It's also a season where you spend time with family and friends, give yourself grace and cultivate self love as much as possible.
Holidays are a season of joy, most of us anticipate the joy as early as mid year. Each month that draws closer, we draw closer to that joy we anticipate. This is certainly how most of us feel about the holiday season; so many layers of happiness. However still, there are layers of stress that you certainly experience during the season. Sometimes financial issues, traveling, getting the house organized for guests, and attimes pressure from family and friends to manage commitments.
Because we understand this, we have come up with a toolkit of sorts; top 10 tips to escape the stress. We have reviewed tips from experts and mental health therapists to equip you with just that; a revelation of how to escape the stress of the holiday season.
1. Accepting whatever you didn't manage to change through the year
Because holidays come after a period of 10-11 working months, there is usually alot of things or goals we had planned to achieve and never did. It could be moving into your own apartment, getting married, giving birth and so on. Making peace with these is the first tip to escaping holiday stress. Tell yourself that you are just human and there's more to achieve for the future. Also remind yourself of what you have achieved in the past 10 or so months. Reignite your spirit!
No matter how your year was, be grateful that you were kept alive, forgive yourself for the wrongs, acknowledge the rights, heal and reignite your spirit for the new year.
You may decide to journal the experiences and lessons learned through the year. Journaling is an important component of trying to let go. Research says 80% of the times you write down, you let go. Therefore, accept whatever happened through the year, journal it and make peace. This will cut you off a huge load of stress.
2. Spend time with family and friends
During the holiday season, it is important to spend time with friends and family. There is no most appropriate way to go about this, whether you spend time with friends first then family after or vice versa, enjoy company that doesn't put you under pressure about your achievements especially if you had a hard year. It should be wise to avoid spending time with your work mates because they give you an aura of work rather than rest.
3. Practice self care
Certainly, the best way to live a stress free life is to focus on yourself and invest energy in yourself. While it's important to spend time with friends and family during the holiday season, it is equally important to take care of yourself and strike a balance.
Exercising, meditating, adventures and traveling, spending time offline are some of the self care practices you can indulge in during the holiday season. Make time for yourself. This will help you reconnect with your personal interests, hobbies and passions and help you declutter your brain from work stress.
4. Get enough sleep
While there's a lot to do during the holiday, make sure to set some time off for your sleep. Your sleep time should be constant and uninterrupted; about 7-8 hours of sleep everyday.Getting enough rest is a fundamental component of your mental health and will help you enjoy a stress free holiday season.
It is also important to utilize the holiday season to build a good sleeping pattern if you don't have one.
5. Clean and declutter your space
There is a direct relationship between mental health and a clean environment; the cleaner your environment, the better your mental health. The holiday season gives you time to declutter your space and clean it up. Make use of this time to clean up and enter the new year with a fresh start.
Decluttering might be removing old clothes from your wardrobe, giving out a book each time you buy another or giving out duplicate items in your house such as laundry baskets, electronics and more.
To be able to clean your space more efficiently, break the cleaning schedule into short intervals. Setting aside a specific long day to clean up your space is mentally draining and might result into not cleaning at all.
The editor of Organized Home, Cynthia Ewer recommends crossing off anything from your house preparation list that will take more than 30 minutes in a row doing. You can borrow this rule especially when organizing your room for guests.
6. Build your immunity
The holiday season appears during the winter. As research shows, during the winter, the immune system is compromised greatly. To avoid getting sick during the season, build your immunity.
Keep warm, eat a balanced diet and top up your vitamin D levels. Because most of the times you are covered up and in doors, make sure to top up your diet with vitamin D. You can get enough of this from supplements more than you possibly get from your diet.
7. Make a budget and stick to it
It is well known that the holiday season is full of spending, here and there. However, in order to enjoy a stress free holiday season, plan prior, make a budget and stick to it. There's certainly not a heart breaker than a declined card during Christmas.
In this way, only buy the things you need and only go for trips you had earlier planned. This will help you assign and use your money appropriately and for the things you desired.
8. Prioritize your mental health
In the twenty first century, almost everyone is emphasizing mental health, “ prioritize your mental health” is the talk of the day. How do you prioritize your mental health during the holiday season? With a huge number of holiday commitments and having to be in different places, learning how to say no and setting boundaries is a fundamental part of prioritizing your mental health.
Leaning how to say no will keep you stress free and you will get doing the priority things on your to do list. You can try sharing your to do list with your family members so that they know when you are free and available. This hack will save you a great deal of stress during the holidays.
9. Create relaxation
A holiday season is arguably the only time of the year you get to rest without the pressure of work and assignments. Create relaxation so that you can enjoy this time.
Relaxation can begin from your surroundings at your home. Research shows that the smell of citrus fruits and lavender relaxes the mind. Try these out in your home to give your brain a relaxed feel.
The other form of relaxation is intrinsic relaxation. This is a form of relaxation that involves use of mediators that move to the brain and cause it to relax. Such components include magnesium glycinate which acts as a mood booster, muscle relaxer and stress reliever. These components calm down the brain and give it a deep focus.
It is also important to take breaks when you feel overwhelmed. For some people, breaks could take a day or so. For others, it's just minutes of day dream and they're already relaxed. Understand what works for you and do exactly that when you feel overwhelmed.
10. Well, the tenth tip is to make sure you journal the other 9 tips and put them in action. Happy forthcoming holidays!