I know most of us love the holidays, but let’s be honest. They can be pretty stressful for many different reasons. Some stress might be un-avoidable, but I find that being proactive and really focusing on taking care of yourself can pay dividends. Here are my 6 tips to relieve stress, and they’re all things you can do starting today.
Here are my 6 best tips to relieve stress starting today
Get as much extra sleep as possible
Find some extra time to sleep, starting today. Seriously. Don’t fight me on this. If you aren’t getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, read this post on why it’s important to your health. Take advantage of unusual work and school schedules and get some extra shut-eye. Extra sleep will help improve your mood, your hormones, your ability to regulate blood sugar (avoid any unnecessary weight gain), and will ultimately make you far less stressed. And no… you are not the exception to the rule. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear people say that always been fine with 4, 5, or 6 hours. Well, you might mentally be fine, but your body/brain/hormones/adrenals needs more sleep, whether you like it or not. Put on your PJs, crawl in bed for a nap or an earlier bedtime, and tell everyone it’s to be in better health.
Say “no” more often.
If you’re like me, there are too many things on your to-do list, and your schedule is already packed. Say “no” to that last minute cocktail party or the extra thing that your friend just asked you to. You might feel like you’re missing out, but FOMO is dumb. Plus, you could probably use a little more sleep and a lot less on your plate. Trust me…nobody will hold it against you if you decline politely. And, don’t feel like you need to make up an excuse. Just decline with a polite “no thank you”. I’m not saying to be a hermit, I’m just saying that if your reaction isn’t “HELL YES I’M SO EXCITED TO DO THIS”, then opt out for something more relaxing.
Do something each day for yourself and only you
Pick something, either small or large, to do just for YOU each day. Yes, you have responsibilities. Most people, however, can find 5-15 minutes to sneak in one of these options:
- Take a warm bath and read your favorite book
- Spend 5 minutes meditating (link)
- Buy yourself a cup of coffee/tea and sit at your favorite café for 15 minutes
- Get a manicure or a massage
- Cook your favorite meal just because you love it
- Shut the bedroom door, blast your favorite Pandora station and sing your heart out
Pick something each day you aren’t going to do
Just the opposite of the one above – stop worrying about all those details that don’t matter much. Yes, your floors might be dirty at the house. Yes, your car might not be organized. Don’t sweat it. Skip it. So what if your dinners all aren’t Instagram worthy? Trust me… not many people care, and if they do, screw ‘em. Instead, use that time to do something from the list on #2. The laundry can wait.
Get outside more.
Try each day to at least take a 10 minute walk and look outside. Bonus points if you can do it during daylight hours, as your body will create vitamins and helpful antibodies as a bonus. Also, leave your phone at home. Stare up at the trees like a little kids and try to notice things you haven’t noticed before. Practice some gratitude for your ability to walk and be outdoors, even if it is a bit cold this time of year.
Create a relaxing environment at home for yourself to unwind
Here are some ideas to make your home an even more stress-relieving sanctuary, no matter where you live.
- Take a long bath or hot shower, and bonus points if you put some essential oils in it to help your mood and your immune system. Some of my favorites are Panaway to relieve sore muscles and Frankincense to relax me and put me in a good mood.*
- Music – throw on some fun and relaxing music. I’m all about the Pandora holiday stations these days.
- Hire a house cleaner and give yourself a day off from cleaning.
- Throw your favorite essential oil in your home diffuser. Your body and mind will thank you. One of my recommendations is the combo of Orange and Cinnamon, which smell so much like the holidays. Or, try Pine and Spruce for an incredible Christmas tree smell.*
Winter is officially here! In my next blog post I’ll be talking about how to boost your immune system during the winter… stay tuned!
*I have tried almost every essential oil company out there, and ended up on the brand of essential oil that is the safest, has the highest quality, and widest variety of oils. I don’t mess around with quality when it’s stuff I’m ingesting and putting on my skin for my health. If you already use oils, awesome! You know how helpful they are to your mood, hormones, sleep, digestion, etc. If not, I highly recommend trying them out. If you’re looking for the best ones, based on all of my research, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and I can help.
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P.S. – Have low energy or hormone issues like I used to? I got rid of all the hormone disrupting home cleaners in my house like this and it made a huge difference.
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