Make The Most Of Your Holidays
The holidays have the potential to literally be both a blessing and a curse for most of us. For many, the season is filled with festivities and activities that bring us excitement and joy and allow us to gather together and spend time with family, friends and other loved ones. This makes the holidays a great time to reconnect with our families and the people that we are close to, and to recharge our spirits.
Be Wary of Holiday Stress and Burnout
For others, the holidays can be very draining. Many businesses see their peak sales for the year come in around the holidays, which can put pressure on owners, managers and other staff as everyone must pitch in to ensure that their customers receive the assistance that they want and need.
Even if you don’t work in an industry that sees an increase in the workload during the holidays, the season can still be stressful. It’s easy to feel frazzled at the end of the day when you’ve had to brave the extra crowds as you try to shop or dine away from home. Sometimes, we make the season more stressful than it has to be if we get so wound up in creating the “picture perfect holiday” with the “perfect” celebrations, decorations, outfits and gifts that we create unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others during the season.
As the stress of the season builds, you might find yourself zoning out and just going through the motions of your day-to-day activities. If you find that you are just trying to “make it” and “get through” the holiday, rather than actually enjoying it, you really are cheating both yourself and others. Feeling this way is really a warning sign that you are close to burning out, which will just make you less productive and less creative in the long run as well as potentially damage your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
Everyone’s mind and spirit need a break, a vacation, in order to recharge and refill. There are even studies that show that the human brain literally begins to shut down in an environment of too much stress and anxiety. This year, why not make the most of your holidays by taking some time for yourself? You can reduce your stress and restore your creativity and energy with these strategies that will help you to relax and resuscitate your zest for life.
Stress Busters to Put the Joy Back into the Holidays
- If things seem to be” too much,” don’t be afraid to ask others for help. You will be surprised to find that no one expects you to do it all, and that others genuinely want to help you.
- Scale back your expectations and celebration plans if things are starting to get overwhelming. It’s okay if everything isn’t “picture perfect.” Put the focus on spending time with your loved ones and enjoying one another’s company rather than going overboard and making everything a big production and obsessing over the fine details of your holiday plans.
- Try to minimise the time that you spend in crowded stores during the holiday. Many stores offer extended hours, so try going when the crowds are lighter, or consider doing at least some of your shopping online, from the comfort of your own home.
- All of those holiday sweets and treats are tempting. While it’s okay to indulge in moderation, take some steps to ensure that you are still following a healthy diet and lifestyle during the holidays. Simple things such as taking a short daily walk, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep so that you are well rested each day will help you to reduce your stress and anxiety during the holidays.
- Schedule time each day to unplug and relax. Take a few minutes and enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage, such as coffee and tea. Make time to listen to some music or watch a short, funny, video online to help you unwind so that you can go back to your tasks feeling refreshed.
- Get away for a bit, if you can. If your schedule allows, consider going away on a vacation during or just after the holiday. This break will help erase your anxieties and clear your mind so that you can return to your work and day-to-day life feeling rejuvenated and full of energy.
- Regardless of how far away you go, or how long, try to make a point to notice new things around you, and be open to new perspectives. Known as mindfulness, actively observing things around you as well as seeking to view ordinary objects, events, people and places in a new way will help to break the monotony and anxiety you might feel during the holidays and reduce your stress while renewing your creativity.
As you begin to take more time for yourself this holiday season, and do things that you actually enjoy, you will literally feel your stress melt away, and find that your energy levels have been restored. This will provide an incredible boost to your productivity, creativity and heart so that you and everyone around you will receive more enjoyment from the holidays.