We conclude our special series on “10 Ways to Overcome Holiday Stress” by Aubrey Freitas, Registered Behavioral Therapist. If you missed any previous blogs, you can find them on our website.
I think #10 is one of the most important takeaways from this series. So often we get caught up in trying to do everything for everyone, that we forget ourselves. This can lead to resentment, exhaustion, and even illness.
10. Take Time for Yourself
When things are hectic, sometimes you need a break to just be alone and relax. No matter how much you love your family and friends, everyone needs some alone time now and then. Whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a relaxation break. It can be as quick as taking five minutes to just lay down and close your eyes, or long enough for you to take a relaxing bubble bath if you have the time in your schedule.
One way to find some relaxation time is to plan it into your morning routine. This will also give you the opportunity to check in with yourself and set an intention for the day. There are many different ways for you to take time for yourself, such as:
Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night and avoid using screens before bed to improve your mental and physical health.
Meditate after you wake up or whenever you're feeling overwhelmed to help you relax.
Practice self-care to help you manage stress by dancing to your favorite music, making your favorite warm holiday beverage, or using a relaxing face mask.
No matter how carefully you try to avoid or limit seasonal stress, sometimes it just might creep into your life. Bijou says that the warning signs of holiday stress are "anxiety, dread, denial, and grumpiness."
Try to check in with yourself often throughout the holiday season to notice if you are experiencing any of these emotions. If you are, take a moment for yourself to breathe and try to relax. Think about what you need at the moment and see if there is a tip to beat holiday stress that may be able to help. The holidays can ask a lot of people, and you're doing the best you can to keep up. At the end of the day, it's important to be gentle with yourself.