8 Ways to De-stress During The Holidays
If the holidays have you pulling your hair out, you’re not alone. Overcrowded stores, in-laws, office parties, credit card bills and an endless to-do list can take a huge toll on all of us during this time of the year.
Here are 8 easy ways to avoid December and January being months of despair. --April Dawn Ricchuito
1. Act your wage
Set a budget for gift-giving and stick to it. Starting off the year with credit card and bill collectors is not how what you want, so pay with cash and debit cards whenever possible. And remember, the holidays are not about how much money you spend, but rather the time you spend with your family and friends.
2. Get it on, girl!
A study in Scotland found that sex can lower blood pressure, stress, and anxiety, so take a break from wrapping gifts and grab your guy for a quickie.
3. Just say no!
Setting boundaries is important, not just on your shopping habits and spending limits but on your time as well. You don’t have to be the quintessential “yes man." Doing favors for your friends and family is fine, but feeling obligated and pressured to take on the tasks no one else wants to do is not cool. Really, it’s okay to say no! Give yourself that permission.
We promise you won’t be forever known as the Grinch who stole Christmas.
4. Get beauty sleep.
Do your absolute best to stick to your regular sleeping schedule. You don’t have to attend every holiday bash you’re invited to. Grab a 15- to 20-minute power nap during the day. Studies show a midday 20-minute nap is more beneficial than sleeping in.
5. Keep it clean.
A clean house reflects a clear mind. If you don’t have time to get down and dirty, focus on your bedroom. It’ll be much easier to sleep if you’re not surrounded by piles of wrapping paper, gifts, decorations, party outfits, and other reminders of the 5,000 things you have to do in the next few days.
6. Clear the mind.
Open your curtains and windows, go outside for a quick jog or swap your plastic wreath for a real one. A University of Washington study revealed that looking out into the natural world reduces your heart rate, even in stressful situations. Buy a plant or try a centerpiece made of pinecones—and yes, they can be glittery.
7. Get moving.
Sticking to a schedule isn’t just important for sleeping—it’s also important to make it to your regularly scheduled workouts. Start with scheduling a treadmill workout. Treat it like any other hot date and make sure you’re there on time and ready to go hard. If you can’t make it to a gym or want to add some extra stretching, try a few restorative yoga stretches. The “legs on the wall” pose is a favorite. It’s actually nicknamed the “fountain of youth,” as this profound pose not only soothes but re-energizes as well.
8. Stop, drop, and meditate.
You may have heard of meditation before, but it’s not something that’s limited to Deepak Chopra, Buddhist monks on mountaintops and women who practice yoga. Meditation is actually something you can do absolutely anywhere, and the mainstream medical community even recognizes the benefits on both physical and psychological health. It can be as simple as concentrating on taking a few deep breaths for a five minute period.