6 self-care tips for a stress-free holiday season.
Updated: Jan 12
Here comes the season of lights, wishes and holidays. Many of us welcome this season with open arms. For others, though, this 2020 chaos can turn into a stressed vacation. Your days are full of wishes from “Merry Christmas” to “Happy new year” and you’re busy with arrangements, baking cakes and shopping for gifts? Did I miss anything?
Yes, your mental health, sleep and self-care time. Often we overlook these because it doesn’t fit in our calendar.
You love holidays because you love spending quality time with your loved ones. Quite often this simple wish is buried by getting anxious over the half-baked cake, which ultimately ruins your holiday mood. And trust me, you don’t have to be a grouch to stress even during the holiday season.
In other words, whether you love or hate this, you don’t want to get into an argument with your nosy uncle because of a few gifts you forgot to buy or some random chocolate muffins.
It’s easy to be surrounded by people and still feel anxious.
Statistics tell the same story, according to the study, 64 per cent of people say their mental health stress level increases exponentially around this time of year. But, after reading this, dreading the holiday season is not an option for you.
I am not suggesting any self-help book here, holidays are meant to be celebrated but a few nuggets of wisdom that will help you to remain calm.
Lower your expectations
To put the “Me” Back in Merry, set some realistic expectations. Not everything goes the way we want, not even in the festive season.
Hoping for something “extravagant” like throwing a perfect Christmas party or finding the perfect gift is going to interrupt with your mind’s energy.
Dr Daniel Amen, a double board-certified psychiatrist, mentions 51% of people are stressed out due to the pressure of giving and receiving gifts in his brain warrior's podcast. Letting go of false illusions can help you to enjoy the present moments cheerfully.
Permit yourself to say “No”
Learning to say “No” is a part of self-care. If you’re uncomfortable attending your aunt’s Christmas party, say “No”. If you want solo time say “no” to the late night theme party.
Spend some time in peace and thank me later.
Valuing your own set of boundaries will shape your relationships with others and also you will be less susceptible to feel guilty for declining any invitation.
Board-certified psychiatrist P. Priyanka, M.D. says “saying "no" does not mean you are being unkind or an inconsiderate friend or family member. It's quite the opposite. Continue to remind yourself of this leading up to the holidays, to avoid feeling stuck in a cycle of self-blame and guilt.”
Live in the moment
You’re at your home with your family but you're still pondering over the last project that went bad for some silly reasons. Choosing to live in the past is like closing your eyes for the present surprises.
Smiling through your worries and appreciating the present moment will make your holidays unforgettable. Invoke all your senses and experience the smell of freshly baked cake or re-watch your favourite FRIENDS episode with your own friends.
Nothing else matters if you can be happy in this very moment.
Put some music ON
Some peaceful music won’t hurt your brain. Science states frequently, about the benefits of slower tempo music.
It helps us to quiet our mind and also relax muscles. You can experiment with different genre of musics around 60 beats per minute because it helps the brain to sync with the beat (also known as alpha brainwaves).
When your mind is flooded with the rush of festive preparations. Go to your
favourite spot in the house and put some music on, keep your eyes closed and enjoy!
The most overwhelming aspect of any holiday vacation is balancing. If you’re a person like me who hates marking calendars then it’s time to move things around (plan ahead baby!).
Since we're always in a rush to get things done. For some, it can lead to a road of anxiousness and stress. Here's what you can do beforehand, plan and mark the dates and the things you’re supposed to do on the same day.
Plan means you need to really sit down with a pen and paper and seal the deal.
Do some shopping online, have a definite budget for gifts and snacks and say bie to stress.
Prioritize your sleep and health
This is a no brainer yet you and I are both guilty for overlooking our health and sleep during the holiday season.
It’s very likely to upset your alarm clock and disrupt your good night sleep because of the events, parties and the hangover of vacations.
But, if you can balance both then you’re a superhero.
This means, taking naps in between your busy schedules, exercising regularly and sleeping at a fixed time every day can help you build a strong foundation for your holidays.
Your energy and your mood are directly related to the amount of sleep and activity you are doing in a day.
So, take a walk in the snow and enjoy these holidays by giving yourself the best gift of Self-care and a stress-free holiday.