Do you feel more stressed during the holidays? You aren’t alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people said their stress level increases over the holidays. There are a number of reasons for this stress, including a lack of time, money worries, gift-giving pressures, family get-togethers and overcommercialization.
Even though there are valid reasons for why the holidays are stressful, it’s still important to manage your mental and physical health. And one of the best ways to do this is with proper self-care. Below you’ll find seven of the best self-care tips that will help you reduce stress and get the most comfort and joy out of the holiday season.
1. Know Your Priorities
You can’t do everything or be everywhere at once. If you try, you’ll be burnt out and never fully appreciate the moments you have with loved ones. Start the holiday season off right by knowing what things are important to you. This way, you can choose the activities, events and people to focus your time and energy on.
2. Reflect on What You’re Grateful For
In an earlier post, we talked about the importance of practicing gratitude. This is something you should continue to do throughout the holiday season. Being grateful relieves stress, helps you focus on positive moments and changes your perspective. Maybe you have a difficult family or a limited budget, but this shouldn’t ruin your holiday spirit.
3. Understand Negative Emotions
It can be helpful to understand why you might be experiencing negative emotions, especially if they weigh heavily on you during the holidays. By recognizing what’s causing these feelings, you may be able to address them. Schedule an appointment with a life coach in Los Angeles who can help you uncover your feelings and readjust your expectations for the holiday season.
4. Take Some Time to Relax
Taking time to relax should be a priority of yours. It doesn’t have to take hours out of your day. Find creative ways to sneak in deep breathing, meditation, prayer, a quick workout or anything else that works for you. Doing this every day will help keep your stress levels at bay.
5. Make Healthy Choices
There’s a lot more temptation surrounding us during the holidays – sweets at the office, drinks after work, fried foods at the holiday parties and so on. Make healthy choices the majority of the time. For instance, it’s fine to have a cookie or slice of pie, but excess calories from these foods can impact your mood, motivation and energy.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Also make sure that sleep is a priority of yours. Otherwise, you’re likely to fall into the trap of feeling stressed and then not getting enough sleep to relax and recharge. Your body needs at least seven hours of sleep each night. Not only will this help your stress levels but also boost your immunity.
7. Limit Your Time on Social Media
Spending too much time on social media can cause you to fall into the “happiness trap” where if you try too hard to be happy, you end up feeling miserable. This is easy to do when you’re on social media because you may end up setting unrealistic expectations for how the holidays should look.
This holiday season, make self-care a priority. The holidays are always going to carry a bit of stress, but that doesn’t mean it has to consume you. If you need help along the way, don’t hesitate to schedule a life coaching session with Jack Rourke.