Tips for taking stress down a few notches
Once Thanksgiving arrives, it seems like we start a frenzied dash straight through to New Year's Day. Meal planning, prepping and serving. Shopping lists to be written and then checked off. Present wrapping, party-going, and maybe some travel to visit family thrown in. This on top of every-day life commitments, work, and school can lead to stress shooting straight through your body.
Celebrating holidays doesn't have to be full-steam ahead and stress-filled. We've gathered some suggestions that can help melt stress and leave you with time, energy, and in the right mood so that you can enjoy what is most important to you during the holiday season.
Trimming the to-do list
If you're running from one thing to another on your to-do list, stop and take a few minutes to re-evaluate the list. Does everything on it absolutely need to be done? Painting the bedroom? That can wait until the long winter days when you will be looking for something to fill the hours. If things can wait until 2018, make a new list for January, move them there, and then forget about them until then.
It's ok to say no
While this is the season of saying thank you and giving back, it doesn't mean that you have to say yes to everything. Did you receive invites to five events? Pick two to attend. Did you child's school call and ask you to work a fundraising event? It's ok to say, no thank you. Choose one (not six) charity events to support. By not overextending yourself, you will have the energy to give your all to the things you do say yes to.
Move your way to less stress
If you feel the tension rising, clear your calendar for 30 minutes (or three hours) and go for a walk, run, hike or bike ride. Do yoga or take your favorite class at your gym. Jump rope or Hula Hoop while watching TV. Moving your body can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and elevate your mood.
Keep it simple
The best holiday meals are sometimes the simple, tried-and -true recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. You don't need to create an elaborate 8-course gourmet meal that will take you weeks to prep for and keep you in the kitchen and away from your guests. And if buying ready-made food works best for you this year, go ahead and do it.
Stay home to shop
Do traffic lines as long as the Mississippi River leading into a shopping center want to make you cry? Do you equate navigating a crowded store to getting a cavity filled? Avoid the aggravation and shop online from the comfort of your favorite chair. If it's important to you to shop local, most small businesses have web sites that you can use. Or venture out to one or two locally owned places to pick up a few items.
If you think that starting a mediation practice will take up too much time, think again! There are apps that include meditations that are just two or three minutes in length. Of course, you can choose longer ones as well. Taking time at the start or end of your day to meditate can help you feel more centered and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
A quick search on iTunes or Google Play will result in an abundance of app options to try.
Call a friend
Sometimes, you just need to vent as a stress reliever. Call a friend and ask for five minutes to just talk it out. Or, meet at a local coffee shop for a quick get together. There's a good chance you'll be laughing by the end of the conversation!
We hope these suggestions have been helpful and that you can implement one or all of them in your life. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a holiday season that is peaceful, fun, and safe!
This post is part of the Salter College weekly blog. Contact us today to learn more about applying to our various career training programs, or to request more information. We look forward to hearing from you.