by Janelle Sessoms
The best time of the year has come back around: the holiday season. It’s a season full of thanks, family, delicious food, and giving. There isn’t a more magical time of the year. But let’s take a step back into reality. The holiday season is also a time full of stress. There are worries about what the new year will bring, constant thoughts about the work to catch up on after the holidays are over, and anxiety about gift shopping and cooking the perfect dinner.
Life is stressful. With the holiday season coming up, that stress can only increase. It’s something that all of us have faced before. Holiday stress is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to stick around! Here are some simple tips to help relieve holiday stress.
It’s a simple method but very effective. Take a minute to think about the last time you had a good night's sleep. During the holiday season, there is always something to do and always something that needs to be done. You may be on break, but that doesn’t mean the work stops. Instead of stressing out about the long list of things to do, go to sleep. It’s that easy. There will always be tomorrow to pick up where you left off. Overworking yourself, especially during a time that’s supposed to be relaxed will only cause stress to build up. Getting good rest is one of the best stress relievers out there, and sleep does wonders for your mental well-being.
Take a Social Media Break
It works better than you think. Taking a break from social media is not easy, especially in this day and age. Every second there is something new happening, and you can feel extremely left behind if you don’t check the latest news from social media enough. But as difficult as it is to step away, once you do, it is a game-changer. The amount of stress that stems from social media is unparalleled, and you don’t realize how freeing it is to step away from it until you try. It doesn’t have to be an extensive amount of time either. To start, try one hour of no social media, and then gradually challenge yourself to increase that amount of time. It will be hard at first, but the reward is worth it.
Knowing how to set priorities is harder than it sounds. But once it’s done, you will quickly realize it was worth the hassle. Prioritizing will not only keep you on track on what to get done but will also help you stay accountable for what you can accomplish in a reasonable timeline. It helps your list of responsibilities seem a lot more manageable, resulting in significant relief from stress. Go grab a journal, a calendar, or use a notes app on your phone, and list out everything you need to do in a realistic order. Anything to help make the days go by easier and be less stressful is worth your time.
Take Deep Breaths
It sounds so ridiculous, but it really does work. Taking deep breaths goes a long way in relieving stress. Sometimes all you need is a moment to breathe. Give yourself that moment, and take nice deep breaths to ease off some of the stress. If you need to step away from whatever you’re doing to take a second, then go ahead and step away. Breathing may seem so minuscule and sound ineffective, but it is one of the best forms of self-care. So remember, if you ever feel stressed, just take a step back and breathe. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that can be the most impactful.
When your stress levels are at maximum capacity, tap into the best resource for stress-relief: nature. There’s something about going outside and taking in the fresh air that makes life seem a little more bearable. If you feel like you’re up for it, then you can go the extra mile and take a casual walk outside. Try not to listen to any music or get distracted by scrolling through social media. Just enjoy nature and the fresh air. Going outside is a powerful way to soothe the mind and help a lot of that stress go away.