Don’t Take a Vacation from Holiday Self Care!
The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone. It might be the positive stress of gathering with loved ones or a more negative experience due to personal hardships. Nonetheless, most of us have mixed experiences with both positive and negative stressors during the holidays.
There are many reasons why people might experience stress and sadness during the holidays, especially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, including a lack of proper rest (sleep and downtime), unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, grief and isolation, and anxiety about the new year ahead.
Fortunately, there are ways to address these concerns while also ensuring that you take care of yourself during the holiday season.
Ensure to get enough sleep, schedule downtime, and nourish yourself
A hectic holiday schedule that includes frequent travel or many social obligations can result in exhaustion and a lack of sleep, which increases stress. During this time, there may also be pressure to finish up at school or work. Some people use unhealthy coping strategies to deal with these feelings, such as disordered eating or substance abuse, which often exacerbates them.
However, prioritize your emotional health and well-being at all times. Remember to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating nutritious foods. It’s okay to skip or decline social gatherings, devote time to hobbies you enjoy, and reconnect with what matters most to you during the holidays.
Take a break from social media
Holidays are frequently viewed as a happy time, which puts pressure on things to be “perfect” and leads to disappointment if they are not. During this time, it is especially easy to compare ourselves to others as we scroll through social media and think other people’s lives and families are perfect. We may believe that everyone else is content and that we are the odd ones out.
Being too connected to our phones, computers, and devices can overload our brains. It is therefore important that you set limits for yourself to look at your phone less and avoid screens before bedtime, to help you sleep better.
Allow some time for deep breathing, meditation, or music.
Try a simple breathing exercise that you can do anywhere, at any time to help your body relax and destress. Alternatively, try a 2-minute meditation session.
Listening to music, doing a quick workout, and stretching your body are all good ways to help your body and mind relax.
Above all, maintain focus on the joys and pleasures of the holiday season and let go of any preconceptions about how things should go.
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