It’s that time of year again. The holidays. It’s one of my favorite times of year, yet it also can bring with it a great deal of stress.
I love the decorations and music, time off with my children, and visiting family. I love the sights and sounds that accompany Christmas, and especially the traditions. We pick out a live tree, the kids trim the house in a nauseating array of snowmen, glass figurines, poinsettias, and lights. We bake sugar cookies and the kids take great pride in creatively decorating each individual one with homemade icing and sprinkles.
At the same time, I have so much internal pressure to accomplish my to-do list that I tend to overbook myself, both physically and energetically. I stress about finding the most perfect, thoughtful present for each person. I spread myself too thin with arbitrary activities and deadlines. I try to fit everything into a short span of time, while neglecting my self-care for fear of neglecting something else that’s just as important. In no time, I feel overwhelmed, irritable, and exhausted. I start canceling plans, shuffling commitments around, and feeling like a human game of Tetris.
Do you do that too? Or do you have holiday stress conquered? Let’s share our best tips and tools for staying grounded and peaceful this holiday season!
This week, our focus is on how to make ourselves a priority in spite of all we have to accomplish. Below are eight tips to remind you to take care of your whole self: body, mind, and spirit!
- Take time for you. Spend 5 minutes (or more) just for you every day –you deserve it!
- Breathe. When you feel stressed, take a few deep breaths. This too shall pass.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes stress & irritability. Make it a priority to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night (7-8 is even better!). Take power naps when you can. Find time for a 15-minute snooze, even if you have to forfeit something else. Your body & mind will thank you!
- Watch your sugar intake. Too much sugar can make stress worse. For a sweet fix, grab some fruit instead! Eat your greens! Counter the rich holiday foods with healthy, nourishing green vegetables. A nourished body is less stressed!
- Don’t over commit. There are so many opportunities & expectations. Prioritize your activities against your values—what really means the most to you—and stick to it.
- Exercise. Don’t use the busyness of the holidays as an excuse not to work in some movement. Just 15 minutes a day for a brisk walk, yoga, or even stretching will help reduce any stress you’re feeling!
- Be present. Don’t worry about the future or the past. Simply show up for the people around you, and especially for yourself. It will all get done, or it won’t and then it will be in the past and you’ll be on to something new anyway.
- Mind your energy. When we get frazzled, it’s likely because energy is going out in all directions and not coming back in to us. Sit quietly, visualizing yourself surrounded by white, healing light, and allow yourself to simply receive.
What tips do you have to share that keep your stress levels in check over the holidays? What one item from this list will you commit to do for yourself to ensure more peaceful holidays this year?