The weeks between Thanksgiving week and New Years can be very stressful during most years. 2020 is no exception with COVID cases increasing across the county. As you continue to work on taking care of yourself, look for opportunities each day to help combat this. Let’s look at a ten ways to help decrease daily stress during this holiday season.
Ten Ways to Decrease Holiday Stress
- Financial stress can cause medical problems so look for ways to not overextend yourself. Did you make a holiday budget? Scrub your gift list. Draw names and set limits on family gifts. Set spending limits. If you have to buy something, can you buy it from someone locally? If not, search the internet for any savings you can find.
- You are in control of your daily schedule. If someone is trying to convince you that they need your help in order to complete a task or to run an errand, feel free to say ‘no’. Politely, of course.
Schedule ‘Me Time’
- This is a great month to continue to work on this. This is a priority and trumps anything else. Don’t say yes to another commitment if it means you lose this time. Say no so that you can say yes to yourself. If you need to find the time to do this, use our Activity Journal to find the time.
- Do you talk just to hear yourself talk? Ha! I think this goes back to my high school classroom days. Speak less and listen more. Listen and ask questions, especially if you live with someone elderly. Write down what you learn. Capturing your family’s stories is priceless.
- Turn on some music during your down time. You don’t have to carry a tune to enjoy this. Trade one Netflix episode with music videos while you are cooking dinner, folding clothes or cleaning up. Listen to new genres if you are feeling brave.
- As you are going through your holiday decorations, purge anything that you are not using this year. Gift it to someone else who can use it. If you can’t find an individual who can use it, donate it to your local charitable donation center. Reducing clutter can be calming. Do you really need a tree in each room? If the answer is yes, then put it up. If the answer is no, keep it simple.
- Strive to get at least 8 hours of sleep every day. Work backwards to determine your bedtime. For example, if you have to be up at 6 am, you need to be winding down by 9 pm so that you can turn off lights at 10 pm. Maybe you need to begin turning off electronics at 8:30. Play with your daily routine so that you have an unhurried morning routine.
Soak In a Tub
- Pamper yourself. Use a bath bomb or essential oils to improve the ambiance. Candles are a nice addition if you have the shelf space. If you don’t have a tub, soak in a hot shower for five extra minutes. Let the water hit your upper back and practice your neck, shoulder and upper back stretches while you relax.
- Find a quiet place to read, knit, paint or meditate. You pick your activity. You may be in cramped quarters but speaking to the others you live with and working out a schedule where there is nap time, bath time or quiet time will help everyone out. Use our member’s recommendations if you need ideas on what to do.
- Instead of pointing out the negative aspect of something, find something positive to say instead. Purposefully think about what you are going to say and figure out how to say it with a positive spin. This can change your family’s culture if all agree to work on this.
- Shorter days increase the chance that you may feel depressed. Find short blocks of time to take a short walk outside or to sit by a window facing the sun so that you can just shut your eyes and ‘sunbathe’. If this is not an option, there are lighting fixtures you can buy to help with this.
Pick one or more topics to work on each day and you will see an improved outlook. Be intentional about what you are doing. Share this information with others in your circle and work on these things together.
Taking care of yourself should be a priority despite the season. Continue to find ways to make your personal situation better. Review the list, pick a topic and make a plan.