From the shopping and the crowds to the non-stop office parties and family gatherings, the holidays can be pretty hectic. And even though it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, you might find yourself feeling a lot less holly and jolly than you’d like.
Despite all the pressure, deadlines and holiday hub-bub, there are ways to de-stress and enjoy everything the season has to offer. Below are 10 tips to keep your spirits bright while navigating the holidays.
1. Stay Active
Even if it’s for only 15 minutes a day, it’s important to stay active. Regular exercise lowers cortisol levels, reduces stress and helps you maintain your weight. If you can’t hit the gym, you can still exercise at home or head outside for a walk.
Remember, every workout doesn’t need to break a sweat. Brisk walking is just as effective as running on a treadmill. Even taking 10-minute breaks each hour can have a huge impact on your stress levels.
2. Eat Well
What better time than the holidays to let loose and indulge in your favorite treats? As tempting as it might be to overindulge, less is definitely more.
When you overeat, not only do you feel guilty for not sticking with your healthy habits, but you might end up feeling physically ill as well.
As with most things, moderation is key. While sampling your holiday favorites, you need to set boundaries. Swap out high-fat chips and snacks for crunchy veggies with dip. If the dessert table is your weak spot, you have a couple of options. You can limit yourself to one sweet treat or if that doesn’t work, avoid it altogether.
Another tip to try is eating before you get to your holiday gatherings. Having a light meal or smoothie an hour before leaving will help you avoid overeating once you arrive.
3. Soak in a Hot Tub
Be honest: As much as you love socializing and spending time with friends and family, it can also leave you feeling worn out.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry.
A lot of people feel the same way. The holidays, no matter how much you enjoy them, are stressful and oftentimes overwhelming.
Soaking in a hot tub soothes both your body and mind. It also gives you a chance to relax and not focus on anyone else but yourself.
If possible, try to soak right before bed. You can use aromatherapy and low lighting to enhance the stress-relieving effects of soaking in a hot tub. You’ll be super relaxed and probably doze off a lot faster as well.
Just remember to schedule regular hot tub maintenance so it’s ready when you are. Since the holidays are hectic for everyone, waiting until the last minute to schedule a service call might not work out as planned.
If you don’t yet have a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub installed, no worries. A deep soak in a nice, warm bath with a few drops of essential oils can be just as therapeutic.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
If you drink alcohol, follow the one-drink rule. While having a couple of glasses of wine may make you feel all relaxed, alcohol can also stimulate stress hormones and wreak havoc on sleep quality. It’s best to drink one and then switch to non-alcoholic beverages the rest of the night.
Drinking to cope with stress also puts you at a higher risk of developing a substance use disorder. They can happen to anyone, and drinking problems have a way of creeping up on you.
If you find yourself turning to drink as a coping mechanism instead of a celebratory act, consider taking a break altogether.
You might also notice that you feel more depressed or angry when you drink; this can create a nasty cycle that causes you to drink in order to alleviate symptoms alcohol worsens in the first place. Long story short, it’s best to take your eggnog rum-free until things in your life feel less stressful.
5. Create a Budget
It’s not uncommon to go overboard at the holidays and spend more than you can really afford. As much as you love giving your loved ones gifts, it’s more important to spend time together. If money is tight, why not make gifts instead?
Hand-made gifts can be just about anything you want to create. Even a loving letter in a pretty envelope means a lot. As the saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.”
If you put pressure on yourself to buy more during the holidays, ask why. Make a budget, and stick to it rather than finding excuses to overspend.
Sales should not justify added expenses, even if there is a good deal. Instead of thinking you have to buy something, make a list of meaningful holiday traditions that don’t come with a price tag.
6. Learn to Say No
If you always feel like you have to say yes, it’s time to make a change. Saying yes when you really want to say no only leads to resentment and conflict. There’s only so many hours in the day, so friends and family will understand if you have to pass on certain activities.
If it’s work-related commitments, like a project that’s due, see where you can tweak your schedule. If it’s only your office party, your boss will understand if you just can’t make it this year.
There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. Learning to say no to the right things ultimately helps you live with less stress, anxiety and regret. Personal boundaries also help you feel more confident and content in your life thanks to a greater balance.
7. Disconnect From Tech
Even with the boom in remote work, it’s important to disconnect from tech. On average, we spend between 5 to 6 hours a day on our smartphones. What’s worse is that those hours usually aren’t work-related.
The holidays are all about being with the ones you love. As such, you should disconnect from tech as much as possible. Aside from work or checking on family and friends, taking a tech holiday is a good idea.
If you’re spending the holidays alone, you might not want to see what’s going on online. When you’re by yourself, it’s easy to think that everyone is having the best holiday season and you’re the only one spending them alone.
While we all know that’s not true, looking at social media can increase feelings of loneliness, especially during the holidays. Treat yourself by watching your favorite movies and preparing a special meal. You can also use this time to practice self-care.
Everyone has their own ideas when it comes to self-care, so there’s no right or wrong. You can give yourself a massage with essential oils, catch up on sleep or simply sit and read your favorite book. It’s about doing what makes you feel good.
8. Maintain Healthy Habits
The hustle and bustle of the holidays can make maintaining healthy habits challenging. However, that doesn’t mean you should undo all of your hard work you’ve put into staying healthy. Since consistency creates healthy habits, you need to plan ahead.
Here are a few ways to you maintain your healthy habits:
- Keep a food diary
- Try a new workout routine
- Maintain healthy sleep patterns
- Practice living in the moment
Making healthy food choices isn’t always easy, especially during this time of year. Keep a food diary and write down everything you’ve eaten. It might be easier to stay on track if you see it on paper.
You should also try out a new workout routine. Even if you love exercising, trying to squeeze it in during the holidays might seem impossible. In fact, if you’re bored with your regular routine, you might skip it entirely.
Trying something new, like Zumba or HITT, can motivate you to exercise. You can also get your family and friends to work out with you.
With so much craziness during the holidays, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Make the most out of this time by practicing mindfulness. Live in the moment and look for the little things that make the day more enjoyable. For example, if you love the smell of freshly baked cookies, really take the aroma in.
Think about how good it makes you feel. In turn, you’ll probably start to think about other little moments that bring you joy.
9. Ask For Help
Even though it’s nothing to be ashamed of, a lot of people are hesitant to ask for help. During the holiday season, it’s easy to see why so many people are afraid to speak up.
Nobody wants to ruin the most wonderful time of the year. While you may think it’s best to keep your problems to yourself, it actually causes you to feel worse in the end.
Holding in your difficult emotions only leaves you distracted and distant from what could be wonderful moments with others. However, no one needs to have a breakdown in the middle of Christmas dinner, either.
If asking for help makes you feel awkward, think about what you really need right now. Make a list of specific requests you could ask for help on. Pick people you trust, too. It’s a lot less risky opening up when we know we’re sharing with people who love us.
Most importantly, don’t feel obligated to feel happy just because it’s the holidays. Just be clear about why you feel this way, so your loved ones can offer support. Sharing our feelings and building each other up through love is what this season is all about.
10. Don’t Forget to Decorate
You may think that decorating is just another holiday to-do to avoid, but don’t write it off just yet. Decorating for the holidays early can lift your mood, lower your stress levels and make you feel more positive.
But no matter when you decide to adorn your space, the warm glow of holiday lights is a nice way to add warmth to your home; you needn’t spend a fortune on a tree, either. A mini one that fits on your desk can bring just as much cheer and stress reduction into your life.
Relieve Stress with Swim World Chelan
Even if the holidays feel like a mad dash to the finish line, remember to treat yourself too and invest in long-lasting stress relief, relaxation and self-care. If you’re looking for a Jacuzzi® Hot Tub, we’re here to help. Contact us today or stop by our showroom to browse all of the available options.