5 Tips to Manage Holiday Stress + Fatigue
Ah... the week in between Christmas and New Years.
It's that ambiguous time when we're unsure of the day of the week... or the time of day for that matter. Typically, there are a lot of holiday and social events scheduled out on the google calendar, work slows to a lull, and every year, for a myriad of reasons, the stress is high.
Is that you this year? Is that you every year? I get it, I've been there. That's why I'm sharing some tips that have helped me keep my stress down during this time of year. I invite you to take on one or two of these and see if they help!
Make Alone Time: Running from social engagement to social engagement while keeping up your normal routine can get really demanding. Get intentional about setting some alone time aside for just you.
Only 15 minutes of intentional alone time (away from your screen) is enough to lower your cortisol levels, boost your mood, and create a feeling of well being.
Here are some suggestions for your alone time:
Take a walk outside, make yourself a cup of tea, read a book, or (my favorite) sit in silence and look out the window at some nature.
Meditate: Now, before you roll your eyes with a "who has time for that?", know that 5 minutes is all that you need to ground yourself. Remember, meditation is a practice and it doesn't have to be perfect.
Just 5 minutes of meditation is proven to deactivate your sympathetic nervous system, commonly known as your fight or flight response. That leads to reduced stress hormones and anxiety, and a higher sense of rejuvenation.
Not sure where to start? Not to worry, I've sourced a quick 5 minute guided meditation on youtube.
All you have to do is find yourself a quiet spot, take a comfortable seated position away from distraction, and click this link here.
Just Say "No": Ah, the power of saying no. I get it, FOMO is real. However, saying yes to every single invite isn't worth it if it's going to affect your mood management and stress levels.
Utilize your power of saying "no".
How can you tell if it's something you should say "no" to?
Listen to your body.
If you have tightening in your chest, feelings of apprehension, or are already feeling overwhelmed at the thought of going to that brunch, dinner, or party, that's a good indicator that you should respectively decline.
Forcing yourself to go only because you were invited or you feel guilty may leave you feeling irritable and overwhelmed.
In fact, studies show that setting boundaries and saying no can boost feelings of empowerment. Saying no to some things can mean that you are saying yes to your well-being.
Ask for Help: Have a million things to get done and not enough time? Get yourself out of your mindset that you have to do it all or it won't be perfect.
I am so guilty of piling everything on my plate and not asking for help, which almost always leads to an inevitable whirlwind of anxiety and stress.
Remember, you don't have to do every single thing on the to-do list. And no one expects that of you.
Delegate tasks like grocery shopping, cooking, or gift wrapping to people in your close circle or household. Not only does it create more space on your plate for self care, but it's also proven to boost the confidence of those who you ask.
We constantly underestimate the value of asking for help and how much people around us are willing to lend a hand.
Lower Your Expectations: I saved the best for last. I can't tell you how many times I have stressed over having the perfect New Years plans or the perfect outfit, to the point where I don't even want to celebrate because the stress is too much.
Or, how about setting that perfect New Years resolution.. you know, the one that's going to change your life forever because you're really going to stick to it this time?
Not to burst your bubble, but... all of that is complete bullshit. The pressure we put on ourselves for the New Year has got to go.
Sure, the New Year is a great time to reflect on the past year. What worked, what didn't, and what we'd like to see change. However, it doesn't have to happen over night, and that change does not have to come in the form of a resolution.
A few years back I stopped doing resolutions, and instead I started picking a word of the year. At midnight, I write it in my journal, or on a cocktail napkin, and save it. The word serves as a theme.... something I want to bring into the New Year through all aspects of my life. And then, I try to make my decisions moving forward keeping that theme in mind.
Some past words I've done are: trajectory, sustainability, presence, and concretize.
My word for 2022? I haven't picked it just yet, but I'll let y'all know on New Years Day!
As for the plans and the perfect outfit? It's just another fun night to celebrate. Toss on something you have in your closet that makes you feel good, add some sparkles into the mix, spend a good time with loved ones, and ease up on the pressure.
I hope these tips help make this week a little easier on you so you can roll into the New Year with ease. Let me know if any of them work for you.
Stay healthy and safe!
Until next year!