By JUSTINE HAARBERG
The holiday season is not necessarily the relaxing time of the year it is perceived to be. In reality, it is a time of frantically buying presents, coordinating plans, keeping up with an end-of-the-year work schedule, and wrapping up the school semester. This may leave you little time to enjoy the festivities that come with Christmas time. Fortunately, there are ways to de-stress and enjoy the holiday season that you deserve.
There is so much to do in so little time, because the holidays will be over before you know it. So, planning ahead can help you achieve everything you want. The key to planning, however, is making loose plans just in case anything spontaneous or unexpected comes up. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself, but you also want to use this time wisely.
Get More Rest
With all of the parties, shopping, and family visits, it can be hard to get good rest. But it is important sleep during this busy time. Sleep expert Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Cleveland Clinic, states that “a lack of quality sleep increases chances of holiday weight gain and can disrupt your fitness routine”. So, although it is easy to stay up every night, be sure to maintain a decent sleep schedule to benefit you in the long run.
Create a Cozy Environment
There is nothing better than cozying up next to the fireplace during the cold weather, so what better way to make your life more enjoyable during the holidays than to bring the comfort to you? Try bringing the holiday spirit into your room, office, or anywhere else that you spend a lot of your time. For example, you can make hot chocolate, play some music, get a warm blanket, or add some Christmas decor. Simply by making your environment more relaxing, you can enjoy the holiday.
Yes, it is cold outside. But it has been proven that going outside can relieve stress. Jay Lee, M.D., a physician with Kaiser Permanente in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, states that “being outdoors is generally associated with activity, and being physically active keeps joints loose and helps with chronic pain and stiffness.” A Japanese term called “Shinrin-yoku” or “forest therapy”, is the the medicine of simply being in the forest. Shinrin-yoku is not exercising, but simply just being in the outdoors in nature. Forest bathing can bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you.
Stick With Your Daily Routine
After school is out or you get time off of work, it may seem as if you have all the time in the world. But you don’t want to get carried away and get thrown so far off of your daily routine that you forget your priorities. It is important to continue working out, getting a solid amount of rest, and getting any assignments or work you need to get done, done.
Take Time For Yourself
With all of the giving, don’t forget about taking care of yourself. Let yourself take breaks every once in a while to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or tea. You are only one person and you are not required to please everybody. Plus, it’s beneficial for everyone if you are less stressed.
The holiday season is full of spending time with family and friends. It’s important to not lose sight of what is a top priority in your life. By keeping these tips in mind, you can have the most enjoyable holiday season.