In between the shopping, fighting the massive crowds at the malls, and participating in all of the great holiday cheer that comes along with the season, it’s that time of year when everyone gets a little stressed. Some, much more than others.
If you find that you are more on edge than usual, you’re not alone during this time of year. This is why it’s imperative you take a breathier, step back, and as the old saying goes: Stop and smell the roses.
Here are 8 easy ways that might help you relax – and maybe even enjoy yourself even a little.
It’s OK to take a moment, and simply breathe. You don’t need a yoga or meditation class. Just stop and breathe in for two or three breaths when you begin feeling stressed. Breathe in, breath out, and just take everything in for a few moments.
2. Schedule less
From decorating the tree to buying the gifts, there are always a ton of things to get done over the holiday season which can drive you nuts. Realize you don’t have to do them all, and try doing less. Choose just a few tasks that you find fun, exciting, or things you know your family will love, and do only those. Limiting the number of tasks you do could help reduce your stress.
3. Arrange small get-togethers
Instead of throwing a huge holiday bash, do the opposite; plan a small, intimate holiday get-together or two. Invite a group of your inner circle over, offer no-hassle cocktails and appetizers, and enjoy their company. It’s so much less stressful than planning a big party! In fact, you can throw a few of these smaller parties and invite different people each time for a variety,
4. Rock out with music
Play your favorite music whether it’s traditional holiday music or something completely opposite. Music typically makes people relax and may reduce stress levels. Perhaps try finding a way to add holiday music into your daily routine; it could help you get more into the holiday spirit!
5. Don’t wait last minute to shop
Buying your holiday gifts at the last minute can surely add stress to your life. The lines are longer, there are more people also rushing around, and popular gifts will undoubtedly be harder to find. While it takes planning and storage space, shopping early on helps avoid chaotic moments. Even if you relish in the last-minute holiday gift-buying, plan lists now, and at least buy some items that might be hard to find later.
6. Take time off
Depending on your job and your boss, taking time off around the holidays is typically not realistic, but if you have unused vacation days, taking time off could help tremendously in reducing stress. Or, if you can’t just take a vacation day or two and get things done on your to-do list. Ultimately, this will help so you don’t have to fit everything in around the job and the rest of your demanding holiday schedule.
7. Do exercises
Exercising might be the last thing you want to do, but fitting it in certainly reduces stress. If you can’t find the time to go to the gym for a full work out, opt for a 20- minute walk outside. Try to add some form of exercise as a habit during the holidays, and you will see how it may combat the stress often associated with the season.
8. Go outside
For many, getting outside over the holidays isn’t always easy, especially if you live in the colder climates. But try and get outdoors even if it’s for just a little while to walk up the street, or say ‘hi’ to a neighbor. These are important because time spent in natural light is said to help the body produce vitamin D, key to helping deal with stress. If you can’t stand the cold, take vitamin D supplements so your body has what it needs to be able to fight stress.