Holidays may be reason for celebration, but all that partying comes with a cost – someone needs to do all that baking, cleaning, shopping and wrapping. When you feel like you’re at the end of your rope this holiday season, here’s a few suggestions as to how you can recharge your batteries.
Take a long, hot bath: Wait until the kids are in bed if you can, so you can have total peace and quiet. Let your mind wander as the hot water soothes your tired, sore shopping muscles. Try to stay in the moment – don’t think about your two-page to-do list if you can help it. This time is meant to be relaxing, not another thing to check off your list.
Put down the electronics: Getting all worked up about something you’ve seen on Facebook won’t help you unwind – it will just stress you out more. So will all the last minute texts, emails or phone calls from friends or family members who need help because they’re feeling stressed out too.
The less time you spend glued to your phone, the less overwhelmed you will feel. Take the 30 minutes you would normally spend surfing the internet each night to do something that will truly leave you feeling refreshed. Spend your time wisely and purposefully, not mindlessly on things you do solely because they are habitual.
Work ahead when you can: Unwinding won’t seem as necessary if you stay on top of your tasks to begin with. Falling behind is the worst possible thing you can do at this time of the year because everything you have to do seems to snowball until it reaches gigantic proportions. So think ahead, and figure out if there are some shortcuts you can create to make things easier on yourself.
Get enough ZZZZs: Cutting back on sleep leaves you open to epic mood swings, irritability, depression and even illness. None of those things sound appealing, right? Pick a bedtime that would allow you to get enough sleep and stick to it. You’ll be glad you did.
Break a sweat: You could use some extra mood-boosting endorphins this month so, even if you’re busy, now isn’t the time to skip your daily workouts. Staying regular with your workouts will keep you feeling less stressed, and it will help combat the extra calories you’re sure to eat in the next few days.
Listen to music: Music can incite a variety of different feelings or moods – it can be soothing, relaxing or energizing. So put some on while you’re baking, cleaning or wrapping gifts. If Christmas music makes you see red because you’ve heard too much of it on the radio already, then don’t listen to it. There’s no rule saying you need to just because it’s December.
Put on rock, rap, country or pop – whatever you’re in the mood to hear. Enjoy it, and let it wash any tension away.]
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.