By Guest Blogger Colleen Stewart
There are pros and cons to the holiday season. It can provide a great opportunity to strengthen family bonds, reconnect with old friends, create new memories and enjoy delicious foods that only come around once a year. However, it can also be a source of intense emotional and financial stress.
Whatever experience you attach to the holiday season, there are ways to keep yourself calm and collected during the busyness of it all so that you can make the most of your time with loved ones. Here are some tips for de-stressing during the holiday season that will help keep you and your family happy and healthy.
Change your scenery
One great way to manage your stress during the holidays is to plan a getaway. U.S. News notes that a simple weekend excursion can bring big mental benefits, like reduced anxiety and stress. You don’t have to leave the city or state to have a rejuvenating vacation, either; it can be a simple trip across town. The important thing is that you give yourself a change of scenery, even if it’s just for a couple of days.
No matter where you live, you can find the perfect spot for a getaway. There are ample attractions and places to stay — even if you have to drive or fly. While a Disney trip may not seem like the most stress-free and budget-friendly way to remain calm, sites like Mouse Life Today can make putting together this sort of trip a lot easier and more affordable.
Take a breather
Another thing that can help with your stress levels is to take moments throughout each day to breathe and meditate. There are several breathing exercises that are simple and quick, and they can make a big difference in helping you stay relaxed. Also, practicing mindful meditation for a few minutes here and there can go a long way in helping you cope with stressful situations. If you struggle with making it a priority, Develop Good Habits suggests adding an app to your phone that will guide you through it and set reminders so you don’t forget.
Power up with a power nap
Long naps during the day can mess up your sleep habits. But short naps won’t do that—and they’re awesome! Taking a nap for 15 to 20 minutes in the middle of your day can make you more alert and improve your cognitive function and memory. In addition, it can also boost your mood and help you be more productive. For children, naps are a key to wellness. Check out this article for a guide to how much time is recommended,
Improve your bedtime routine
Speaking of sleep, you need plenty of it at night—seven to nine hours for adults, and more for kids, depending on their age. Otherwise, your mind and body won’t be prepared to function at full capacity each day, and you’ll be more prone to stress and anxiety.
If you find it difficult to get the sleep you need, change things up. Come up with a solid bedtime routine that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, whether it’s taking a warm bath, listening to classical music, reading a paperback and/or doing relaxing yoga poses.
Add me-time to your morning
Along with taking a short daytime naps and getting a good night’s rest, consider waking up a little earlier than normal through the holiday season. It doesn’t have to be drastic; 30 minutes may be all you need to set positive intentions for the day. You could relax with a cup of coffee, write in a journal, read inspirational literature and/or anything else that helps you to collect your thoughts and get the day started off right.
Don’t try to do it all alone
The holidays are a busy time for most people, and sometimes there’s more stress than joy involved, particularly for those who don’t delegate well. It’s imperative that you do not take on every single holiday-related task on your own. Recruit your kids to help you with tasks you can offload, like helping to clean the house, walking the dog, etc. If you don’t already have one, now is a good time to implement an allowance system for your kids. You will feel better by having some help with holiday tasks, and your children will benefit from learning responsibility and the sense of satisfaction that comes from working to fulfill goals.
Make this holiday season the least stressful one yet. Go on a weekend getaway, practice breathing exercises and mindful meditation and take short daytime naps. Also, adopt a bedtime routine that helps you get the sleep you need, and allow yourself time to start off strong each morning. You may find that these simple tips have a profound effect on the well-being of you and your family amid the holiday bustle!
Bio: Colleen Stewart loves giving her two kids a healthy example to live by. Her passion for community and wellness inspired her and her husband to team up with their neighbors and create a playgroup that allows the adults and their kids to squeeze in a workout a few times a week. She created Playdate Fitness to help inspire other mamas and papas to make their well-being a priority, and set a healthy foundation for their little ones in the process.