The holiday season is a time filled with joy, fun, and celebration. However, with so much happening at once, it can also introduce new stressors to your typical day-to-day.
As you head into the busy season, make time to reflect on your how you’re feeling. Take some time to identify and address your stressors so you can feel more at ease once the holidays arrive. If you’re not sure where to start, here are six ways you can feel more relaxed through the holiday season:
Express Intentional Gratitude
A lot of the stress you feel during the holiday season sparks from your desire for everything to go to plan. Instead of obsessing over things that have already happened or are out of your control, show gratitude for everything that has gone right.
You may be surprised to learn that there are several health benefits of showing gratitude. For instance, it can open the door for new relationships, strengthen existing relationships and improve empathy, self-esteem, and mental strength. That’s why you should make a conscious effort to acknowledge what you’re most grateful for and express gratitude often. Doing so will help you feel more fortunate and appreciative of the things you have.
Spend Time Outside
Research shows that spending time outdoors can improve your physical and mental health. For example, it can help lower blood pressure, spark creativity, and reduce stress levels. While it’s unfortunate that one of the most stressful times of the year also happens to be when it’s cold outside, taking advantage of any opportunities to get fresh air will help you feel more relaxed and grounded.
When weather permits, be sure to spend time surrounded by nature. After a long day, go for a walk around your neighborhood, or spend a few minutes on your front porch. If it’s too cold, spending time by windows can still help boost your mood and offer a sense of calmness.
Make Time For Yourself
Between family gatherings, social events, and volunteering, the holidays are often spent surrounded by others. However, spending too much time with friends, family, and peers can lead to greater stress and anxiety. Though it’s the season of gathering and giving, it’s important to give back to yourself, too.
Avoid overexerting yourself, and honor when you need to be alone. It’s okay to take breaks from holiday planning. Use the individual time to relax by the fire, listen to music, or reflect in a journal. Treat yourself to a warm bath, or indulge yourself with an at-home spa day complete with face masks and rejuvenating skincare products. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to do something that makes you feel good and helps take your mind off the chaos.
Start Shopping Early
Approximately 56% of people believe that gift shopping as the most stressful aspect of the holidays, and for good reason. Shopping for gifts and decor is stressful enough, and saving it until the last minute can spell out disaster.
By starting holiday shopping early, you can secure better deals, ensure shelves are stocked and avoid the stress of scrambling for gifts right before the holidays. You can also avoid overcrowded malls by shopping online, though, you’ll want to start this early, too. Plan ahead by creating a budget and listing out what you intend to buy. Then, align your shopping schedule with sales, and keep track of purchases to ensure a seamless and stress-free experience.
Make Your Home a Relaxing Space
Feeling relaxed can be difficult when your space is disorganized. Your home should be a place where you can fully feel yourself and unwind at the end of each day. By decluttering your living space, you can ensure an environment that helps you decompress and feel more relaxed through the hectic season.
Take some time to clear your home of any items you no longer use, such as clothing and toys. This will clear up space and help you feel more organized. Once you’ve decluttered, consider adding relaxing decor like family photos, soft lighting, candles, and blankets to evoke feelings of comfort and security. In addition, you can incorporate elements of nature by placing plants around your home to breathe life into space.
Take a Deep Breath
When you become stressed or overwhelmed, you may find that your breathing becomes more shallow. Practicing conscious breathing can help slow down your day, lower stress levels, and counter physical and emotional tension.
When you take time to focus on your breathing, you can reverse the stress response in your body and slow down your heart rate, which helps you feel calmer. Familiarize yourself with various breathing techniques, and practice them whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed. Even when you’re not stressed, you can practice conscious breathing to stay centered and relaxed.
Long gone are stressful days of preparing for the holidays. With these tips, you’ll feel cool, calm, and collected through the holiday season.
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.