It’s officially the holiday season, a time of the year that many look forward to. However, the “most wonderful time of the year” for many of us can quickly turn into the most stressful time of the year. From dealing with the hustle and bustle of shopping, planning, cooking, events, and traveling, it is easy to grow overwhelmed around the holidays. But don’t worry! We have some creative and helpful tips on how you can avoid stress this season:
- Take a break. Take time for yourself when needed – don’t feel guilty about it! A little “me time” can do wonders in restoring balance and lowering stress levels. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite music, cozy up to a book and cup of tea, relax with a nice bubble bath (don’t forget to add candles and essential oils), or catch up on much-needed sleep! Or simply do nothing – that is allowed! Whatever it is that recharges you, take time out every day to do it. Even if it’s for only 5 minutes, relaxing and reflecting does wonders for lowering your stress levels.
- Indulge in your favorite activities. Whether it’s baking cookies, arts & crafts, planting in your garden, or watching Christmas movies – do what makes you happy!
- Relax and breathe. If you start to feel overwhelmed, simply stop and take a few deep breaths. As you inhale and exhale, feel your chest and belly expand. This exercise will help calm your mind, relax your body, and allow you to remain in the present moment and enjoy time with your loved ones.
- Treat yourself! The holidays can be centered around giving to others, but sometimes it’s good to take a break and give back to yourself! Pamper yourself to a relaxing massage or facial and indulge in your favorite dessert or your favorite meal. Buy that item that you’ve been wanting for so long but just haven’t yet. Do anything you want but do it for you!
- Get outdoors and explore! Houston has a ton of options for unique outdoor recreational activities, including ice skating, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Some popular places to go in the Greater Houston area are The Woodlands, Lake Conroe, Kemah Boardwalk, and Buffalo Bayou. It’s as easy as getting out there and trying something new. Sign up for an outdoor yoga class; there are lots of classes going on at parks now. Take a stroll on the beach at Galveston Seawall and check out the Historic Strand District. Delve into all types of history and art in the Houston Museum District. Or, book a tour at the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, which is a former underground water reservoir now open for history and art tours.
- Give back. Volunteer at your local food bank, animal shelter, or children’s hospital. Start a holiday food drive by collecting items to donate with your friends or neighbors. It won’t cost you anything, but the feeling of helping your community in need during the holiday season is priceless. Plus, making someone else smile is one of the best ways you can destress (plus, you’ll be making a difference!).
- Spend time with family and friends. Quality time is a love language. Spend this holiday time with your friends and family for some good old fashioned holiday cheer. Laughing and enjoying each other’s company is a great way to forget about all your troubles and get into the festive spirit. Create new traditions, get together for dinners, game nights, or just simply chat around the fire.
- Get organized. Make a list of what needs to be done and when, and then stick to it! This will help take the pressure off and ensure that nothing is missed. Whenever you prioritize and complete a task, you feel rewarded and motivated. In our upcoming blog we will be diving more into best practices and tools to utilize for productivity and achieving your goals, so stay tuned!
Life can be difficult; holidays can become stressful. But, when we remember to focus on what matters most in our lives – letting go of the idea that everything must be perfect – we can keep ourselves calm, joyful, healthy, and balanced. Hopefully trying one or all these tips will help you remain stress-free this holiday season!
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season!
-Next Level Urgent Care