Okay, let’s see … purchase turkey, check. Mail holiday cards, check. Help kids study for finals, check. Buy presents, check. Take sick dog to vet, check. Write blog, check … and the list goes on and on. You know exactly what I mean. The holidays are wonderful. But also, they are the…most…stressful…time…of…the…year. Seriously, ask anyone — especially women. In mental health studies, women report feeling more stress than men during the holidays. (1) Between the extra tasks, financial hemorrhaging and tricky family dynamics, the possibilities for an emotional implosion are great. Going in with your eyes wide open is helpful, but you also need to look out for you. It may seem impossible to carve out some time for yourself, but there are at least five minutes in the day that you could spend recharging your soul. It’s not a waste of time. You will get a peaceful boost that will help you ride out this season with more grace and joy.
For those who have forgotten what “me” time looks like …
Health.com came up with a great list of suggestions for ways to decrease your holiday stress, many of which are just simple activities that fall into the category of “me” time. Tested tips such as find a bit of sunshine, close your eyes and bask in it; walk a lot, sleep plenty; blast your favorite tune and sing or dance along and do whatever cracks you up could recharge you during the holidays. (2) That last one is so simple, yet so powerful. Laughing — really laughing — is one of the best stress relievers ever, and easily forgotten in stressful times.
But I feel guilty
I get it. You are overscheduled, on a roll and busy, busy, busy. There is literally no time to check out and smell the flowers. For those of you who need to justify time to yourself with logic, read on. Taking time for yourself gives your overworked brain a chance to reboot, actually improves your concentration and even increases your productivity. (3) That five minutes will SAVE you time in the end. There … feel better? Now unplug, put down the to do list and go for a walk. And remember to laugh while you’re out there.
- Barker J. Reduce Holiday Stress. Web MD website. Accessed Dec 15, 2016.
- Pawlik-Kienlen L. 25 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress. Health.com. Accessed Dec 15, 2016.
- Bourg Carter S. Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Stealing a Little Time for Yourself. Psychology Today. Feb 1, 2012. Accessed Dec 15, 2016.