It is the time of year our to-do list grows to a length that is unmanageable. How do we start? Where do we start? If you are like me, you get so overwhelmed that you don’t ever start the never-ending list. Now you’re stuck with a list of things you need to do and want to do, but unfortunately, you’re still just staring at the list. Help! Where do you start so your body does not ache the entire holiday season?
7 tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress So You Can Enjoy the Holiday Season
- Breathe. I know this is a simple task, and you do it naturally since you have to in order to live. However, take a deep, deep breath and close your eyes and think: RELAX. A quick break to take deep breaths and unwind can do wonders for your muscles and mind.
- Brain Timeout. Sometimes you need to turn off your mind so you stop worrying about the list. Regroup. Relax. Think about something else for 10 minutes to just unwind your mind on the tasks that are screaming at you off the paper. Brain timeouts help us look at things with a fresh mind and different view in order to not get overwhelmed.
- Phone a Friend. “E.T. phone home!” No it is not the movies, but sometimes you just need to take a break and talk to a family member or friend. It is amazing how a 10-minute conversation can make you relax. You can feel your shoulders, neck, back and even your face RELAX. Call someone who is your “go to” when you need a break.
- Meditate. I know many people I talk to do not realize that meditation can happen anywhere. 3-10 minutes is all you need to take your mind on an adventure to a new vision or thought process. All you need to do is close your eyes and totally relax your mind and body. Think about your favorite place that gives you peace and happiness. Imagining yourself in this place is the best escape from stress. Meditation works anywhere and is a great stress buster when you feel overwhelmed.
- Exercise. Over and over again you hear people say exercise is the best medicine. Studies have shown the benefits of exercise to the body, mind and spirit. I know it sounds cliché, but it is very true. When I am stressed I immediately put on my shoes and walk outside to just let the air fill my lungs and allow my body to move. Exercise is the cheapest and non-evasive way to reduce stress! Don’t feel like exercise has to be that full hour workout. Sometimes you just need 15 minutes of just walking to decompress or 10 minutes of yoga to stretch and let your body feel relief from stress.
- Listen to Music. Take your mind off of the distractions of the crazy day and really listen to the music. It is astounding how good songs make us smile, dance, or just remember how we love the song! Music is a great escape for the holiday stress. Put on your favorite music and grab a mug of hot chocolate and relax.
- Time for a Good Laugh. With the internet, you can log onto YouTube or go any where on Google to listen to a joke or watch a funny video. I sometimes look at pictures on my phone and remember events that made me laugh. Next to exercise, laughter is the best medicine to stay healthy and when you are laughing, you are not worrying or stressing about life.
If your body is aching and you are stressing, STOP! It is time to enjoy the holidays and not worry about every little detail being perfect. Embrace the holiday and enjoy your time with family and friends!