“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…and for some, it’s also the most stressful. Whether it’s entertaining relatives with high expectations, planning or attending events, eating and drinking to excess, or trying to get your work done before Christmas vacation, the holiday season can be overwhelming.
While you may be taking care of friends or family, don’t forget to take care of yourself first. After all, you’ll set yourself up to be a more relaxed guest or host, and hopefully be able to enjoy the festivities.
Try some of these tips to de-stress before the holidays:
Yoga has been around for thousands of years as both a physical and spiritual practice, and to this day it helps millions of people to relax and get centred. Whether you’re in a group, meeting up with a friend or doing it at home by yourself, yoga will let you approach time at a slower pace while giving your body a healthy stretch. As a low-impact activity, most people can enjoy yoga regardless of physical abilities or challenges.
Focus on your breathing and forget your problems for the moment. This ancient spiritual practice has found its way into non-secular circles due to its effectiveness in total body relaxation. Sit with your eyes closed in a quiet, comfortable environment. Put all of your focus into your breathing–or picture yourself in the place that makes you the most happy–and use this time to clear your mind.
Exercise releases endorphins, which can reduce discomfort and make you feel happier. Go for a run, hit the gym, join an aerobics group, or find a video you’d like to try at home. Even if you think you’re too busy to get on a regular exercise schedule, just 30 minutes a day can help you feel better. It’s worth making time in your schedule.
Although it may seem like a chore for some, many people find cleaning to be a relaxing activity. Maybe it’s the repetitive motions, or the chance to turn off the brain, or the fact that being productive will result in a tidier space. Maybe you live by the statement “messy house, messy mind”, and you’ve been so busy that you’ve fallen behind in your cleaning schedule.
Start with something repetitive and simple, or that’ll have the greatest visual effect. This might mean vacuuming the white dog hair on the dark-coloured rugs, doing the dishes, or putting away the kids’ toys. Put on music while you do it if it’ll help you get in the zone.
There are many benefits to cleaning or simplifying your space. You’ll have less work to do if you’re having guests over. You’ll create more space for you to unwind at home after a stressful day at work or a busy party.
With less stress in your life, you’ll have more energy to enjoy being with friends and family. We hope these tips remind you to take time for yourself this holiday season.