Keep Stress Down This Holiday Season
Even if you are the kind of person who spends the whole year looking forward to December, the holidays can be a stressful time. There’s a lot to do, and sometimes it feels like there’s not a lot of time to do it. Learning to take full advantage of those first few hours in the day can be the difference between weeks of panic and anxiety and a peaceful, relaxing festive season.
Here are some easy steps from Daniel Sherwin from Dad Solo, on how to keep that stress at bay…
Wake Up at Your Usual Time
It’s tempting to have long lie-ins during the festive season, but this can actually be bad for your overall quality of sleep. Our circadian rhythms — the system in our bodies that tells us when to sleep and wake up — are easily disturbed, so the best way to ensure you remain well-rested is to continue sticking to your usual wake-up time. This should also help regulate stress levels since these are closely linked to the quality of your sleep.
Have a Good Breakfast
Once you’ve woken up, make sure you start the day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast on a given day are 89 percent less likely to experience stress and anxiety. According to Health.com, a healthy breakfast consists of a balance of protein, whole grains, and fats which will keep you full and energized throughout the morning. Starting your day with a healthy meal could also make you less likely to succumb to the temptation of unhealthy festive treats later on.
Get in a Workout
It’s important to not let go of your exercise routine during the holidays, especially since exercise is one of the best stress regulators you have. Mornings are a great time to fit in some exercise, especially during a busy and intense period such as the holidays. Furthermore, research has shown that there are many benefits to working out in the morning, including better sleep, lower blood pressure, and more efficient muscle building.
If the weather outside is keeping you from going outside to exercise, try some at-home workouts that you can do from the comfort of your cozy living room.
Finally, if your days are still feeling very crowded, remember that you can outsource some of your tasks during the season. For example, you can hire dog walkers to take the family pet on his morning walk, or get a maid service to keep messes under control while the kids are home.
Get Any Work Out of the Way
If you work from home, are self-employed, or have taken some time off during the season, you will be tempted to regularly check your emails to stay on top of things. Limit this to a half-hour in the morning, during which you can make sure everything is running smoothly, and then forget about it for the rest of the day. This article by the Muse has some great further advice on balancing work and leisure during the holidays.
Do Some Christmas Admin
Use your mornings to get the more tedious festive tasks out of the way, clearing your schedule for family time. You can shop for presents, do some wrapping, write Christmas cards, or plan a party. This checklist can help you stay organized and ensure you get everything done.
Resisting the temptation of lazy lie-ins during the weekends or time off will ensure a smooth and stress-free holiday. Maintaining a healthy morning routine can set you up for a great day, and chances are you can tick off a good chunk of your to-do list before lunch. Then, you can feel free to spend the rest of your day relaxing and enjoying this special time with your loved ones.