It’s here again that time of year when it just seems like there is one holiday after another. While the holidays can be the best of days for many of us, they can also be a very stressful time for some. In the midst of hosting family, traveling in winter weather and planning for dinner parties, it can be easy to feel far from jolly.
Don’t be the grinch this holiday season, here are three tips to help you manage your stress and enjoy the season with your loved ones:
Create a To-Do List
The holidays are full of tasks we don’t typically experience in our day-to-day lives. Dinners need planning, presents need shopping for, and more time is dedicated to family and friends. According to research, one of the best ways to avoid getting overwhelmed is to create a simple To-Do List, and here are some tips when creating your own:
- Plan ahead Make a list before you go to bed at night for the next day, or on Sundays for the week ahead. That way everything is down on paper, and you aren’t stressing about it while trying to go to sleep, or during the week.
- Hit checkpoints If you have long term items on your list, make sure you have some short term objectives to ensure that you’re staying on track.
- When you finish an item, cross it off! That way the task is out of mind, and you get the satisfaction of completing it!
- Use your time wisely! Multi-tasking isn’t always the best use of time, so prioritizing and focusing on 1-2 tasks can maximize productivity.
- Use your judgement at the end of the day, you know yourself best. Create a plan that works well for you and execute it!
Enjoy Some Quiet Time
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Take some time out for yourself to rest up and recharge so you can enjoy time with family and friends. Quiet time looks different for everyone. Some people prefer to meditate, read a book, or even get in a nice workout. Whatever you choose, make time for YOU this holiday season!
Get Better Sleep
Sleep is a very important contributor to our body’s recovery and recuperation. Not only is getting enough sleep important, we also need to make sure the quality of our sleep is good. For the best sleep, follow these tips:
- Limit blue light exposure from technology in the evening. The issue with blue light at night is it makes your body think it’s daytime, so it becomes harder to fall asleep. There are apps you can install on smart devices to prevent blue light exposure. Or, ideally, unplug for a few hours before going to sleep.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule: our bodies crave stability and the first step of sleep hygiene is to create a routine that you follow even on weekends/holidays
- Sleep in a quiet, dark, and cool environment to maximize quality sleep.
- Stop caffeine consumption in the afternoon so it doesn’t keep you awake at night. You can find caffeine in coffee, green tea, and energy drinks to name a few. Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant, which can be helpful during the day, but not when you’re trying to sleep at night.
Bonus: Check out this app for breathing and relaxation!
There are many tools out there to relieve stress. One way to immediately help with stress relief is through mindful breathing, which can easily be done on your smart phone. The Oak Meditation & Breathing app is one we like; it offers simple options for different breathing and meditation exercises you can take advantage of throughout the day!