It's that time of the year again! Holidays can be so stressful and fun at the same time.
It's also the time for so many demands on our bodies, mind and especially on relationships!
You may have seen these tips before but it is such a timely reminder on how to take care of ourselves to minimize the inevitable stress and maximize our well-being and happiness as we celebrate the holidays with loved ones!
- Meditate. Develop a regular practice to relax and ground you. If possible, start and end the day with guided imagery, yoga, meditation, relaxation, deep breathing. 20 mins twice a day of quiet time with yourself will help you deal with any or most stress encountered during the day.
- Simplify your life. Make a mental checklist of how you spend your time, money and energy. Determine whether you really need everything you are currently have in your life. Can you let go of anything without sacrificing personal or family happiness? Do you really need to spend all that money on shopping for things that nobody really wants or need? Can you instead donate to your favorite charity in the name of your loved one and let them see the difference they are making in someone else's life who is less fortunate or blessed? Cut back on unnecessary stressful activities in your life. Say no the next time you are asked to take on a new responsibility if you are already overextended from doing too much.
- Get enough sleep. The idiom shop till you are dead is really not a good idea! Instead take time to have adequate sleep during this season.For a good restorative sleep, you need at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Follow an evening routine as much as you can. Don't drink caffeine or exercise late in the day, and keep to a regular bedtime, adjusting it to no more than an hour or two, during the holidays or weekends if you need to.
- Eat smart. Choose healthy foods and make mealtimespleasant social encounters by planning menus, cooking and setting the table together.
- Get moving. Regular exercise triggers and releases physiologicaland chemical processes and reactions in the body. It helps us handle physical, mental and emotional stressful challenges better. Look for opportunities to get moving ---- park farther from your destination and take a longer walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, play with your dog in the backyard etc.
- Have a healthy support system. Make sure your busy schedule accommodates your family and loved ones. Plan recreational activities around the festivities that you can do with your loved ones. They don't have to cost much but can be fun and memorable ways to spend time. If you are struggling with chronic health challenges or single parenthood, join a local support group.
- Have fun. Keep a good balance of work and play, group and solitary activities.We need time with ourselves to gather our thoughts and sometimes we all need to be around our loved ones for support or just to give a hug.
- Maintain your sense of humor. Laughter helps diffuse tension. Look for what's funny in everyday life, in little things. Go see, borrow from the local library or order on Netflix funny movies that you can watch with your loved ones.
- Be assertive. Express your negative emotions and experiences instead of bottling them inside you. When you have a difficult message to deliver, describe the situation, express your feelings, specify your wants and say it directly to the person involved. Write it down or practice it verbally if this helps.
- Learn Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT when dealing with any type of stressful or anxiety provoking situation. .EFT is an emotional version of acupuncture wherein we stimulate certain meridian points by tapping on them with our fingertips. Using EFT, you repeat selected phrases out loud as you tap gently with your fingers on traditional acupressure points on your face and upper body, points that erase anxiety and increase effectiveness.Properly done, this frequently reduces the therapeutic process from months or years down to hours or minutes. And, since emotional stress can contribute to pain, disease and physical ailments, we often find that EFT provides astonishing physical relief. Benefits of using EFT:
- Is gentle, easy to learn, and usually long lasting in its effects
- Has proven remarkably effective in reducing or eliminating phobias and fears, pain, performance blocks such as fears, anxieties, post traumatic stress and a large number of other common problems
- Requires no medication or machines
- Can be used by virtually anyone, anywhere, at any time
- Be creative. Indulge in enjoyable hobbies, such as painting, gardening, dancing, writing in a journal, or singing etc.
- Give back. Volunteer yourself by helping someone else or a charitable organization in need in any way you can. There is tremendous peace and satisfaction when we go beyond the small details of our lives in order to make the world a better place for others.