Holiday season is right around the corner! And that means family, friends, food, and fun.
However, in the world we live in today, many people find themselves in the unfortunate position of feeling stressed out, even as the holidays roll around.
Whether it's difficulties from work, school, or anything else, we wanted to share 10 mindful tips to help you stay stress-free for the season of giving and enjoy quality time with your loved ones!
#1. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress in your day-to-day life. All it takes is the act of being present — staying aware of your breathing, your senses, your surroundings, and everything in the moment.
From time to time, try taking a break from the distractions of social media and the internet. Instead, simply spend a minute or two just being appreciative and observing the world around you. Maybe even give meditation, yoga, or other mindful practices a try.
Whichever way you prefer, living in the moment is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall mental health.
#2. Get Some Exercise
It's well-known that exercise is not only good for your physical health, but also helps to boost your mental vitality. So it's crucial to incorporate some sort of exercise routine in order to live your best life.
Whether for you, that means going to the gym, playing a sport, or simply taking a walk outside, any sort of physical activity will help you look and feel better. Working up a sweat is proven to reduce anxiety and increase energy levels, so take advantage of this and get active! It's really that simple!
#3. Stay Hydrated
Water, in any form, is an essential element of life! So it's important to stay hydrated all year round.
Obviously, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day — try to aim for around 3 liters as a general rule. But did you know that there are important other ways that hydration comes into play?
For instance, humidity is the amount of water vapor in the surrounding air that you breathe in — 24/7. While often overlooked, it's so important to make sure your indoor humidity levels are sufficient. After all, dry air can have numerous detrimental effects on your health, as it could cause chapped skin, respiratory irritation, and even make you more susceptible to viruses like the cold and flu.
Luckily, a humidifier works to combat the effects of dry air by introducing the right moisture level into your surroundings. Explore Carepod One to learn more about why a humidifier is a healthy addition to your home.
#4. Reduce Your Screen Time
In the digital age, it's more important than ever to stay attentive to the amount of time you're spending on the screen.
While social media and iPhones have their benefits, too much scrolling can cause a negative effect on your mental health, as more and more studies are showing nowadays. After all, excessive content consumption can cause something of an information overload for your mind, and that's the last thing you want if there's already stress in your life!
We recommend checking the daily screen time on your phone, and simply setting a goal to reduce that time to something reasonable for you. If it helps, you can even change settings on your phone to limit the amount of time you spend on certain apps.
At the end of the day, less time on your devices means more time with your loved ones, which is the best part about the holiday experience!
#5. Destress with Your Favorite Hobbies
Taking part in your favorite hobbies is a healthy way to relax and take your mind off things. Whether that means reading a book, playing an instrument, practicing a sport, or just spending time outdoors, any activity that you find fun and engaging allows you to feel great and simply enjoy the moment.
It's even better if you can involve friends and family as well, so try asking if they're also interested in joining. This would make for valuable connecting time, especially during the holiday season!
#6. Eat Healthy
They say "you are what you eat," and this age-old quote is actually very true! A healthy diet is the key to a healthy body and mind. We've already discussed drinking enough water on a day to day basis. So what about food?
Here are some basic tips:
- Make sure you're eating enough fruits and vegetables to get the right amount of nutrients every day
- Cut down on fast food, snacks, and other heavily processed items
- Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, as these kinds of ingredients could potentially have a negative effect on your mental well-being.
Of course, it's easy to binge eat over the holiday season, and a cheat meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner isn't the end of the world. But in general, just try not to go too over the top!
#7. Shop Early (and Smart)
It's the season of giving, and that typically means buying gifts for your loved ones! However, if done wrong, this could actually end up being an unnecessary source of anxiety.
Many people wait until right before a holiday to buy gifts, which leads to a stressful day of shopping and scrambling to get everything all at once. So we recommend preparing holiday presents as early on as you can, in order to avoid any last-minute panic. Also, be sure to set a clear budget beforehand to have the peace of mind that you're not breaking the bank.
#8. Relax with Your Favorite Music
Who knew that something so simple could be an instant way to boost your well-being? Listening to your favorite songs can serve as an emotional boost or even provide a healthy distraction from holiday stress or other worries in the moment.
Whether it's classical orchestra, today's pop hits, or 90s hip hop, music has been shown to have a positive effect on your mood and mental health. So if you're ever feeling down, try turning on Spotify or the radio, and chances are you'll be feeling at least a little better afterwards!
#9. Make Sure You're Getting Quality Sleep
In any conversation about wellness, sleep takes first priority. After all, proper rest is the key to living a healthy and stress-free lifestyle.
8 hours of sleep is recommended, but of course everyone has different needs. So make sure you're getting enough rest to feel recovered and rejuvenated in the mornings!
It can often be tough to get to sleep on time, especially with the demands of work, children, and other responsibilities in your life. But there are a few things you can do to take back control of your sleep.
For instance, try to establish a consistent nighttime routine to wind down before bedtime. Also, try not to use your phone too late at night, as blue light can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
For a detailed guide on how to transform your nightly habits, check out our in-depth article about 7 Weekly Habits to Transform Your Sleep & Relaxation.
#10. Practice Gratitude
Some say that gratitude is the key to happiness.
Rather than spending all of your mental energy stressing out and worrying about things out of your control, gratitude allows you to focus on appreciating the small (or big) things in your life that you love and enjoy.
To avoid the holiday blues, remember to stop and think about what you're thankful for. It might be family and friends who are always there for you and any happy memories that you've enjoyed together. Or maybe hobbies and passions that you genuinely find joy in. Even something as simple as breathing the fresh air and realizing that it's great to be alive and healthy — that could be something to express gratitude for!
(Tip: Give gratitude journaling a try, where you write down a list of things that you're appreciative of! This exercise is a great pick-me-up.)
To wrap it up, there are many ways to improve your mental well-being and ensure that you're stress-free for the holidays.
By following these 10 tips outlined above, you'll be able to make the most of this wonderful time of the year. So try your best to worry less and celebrate more. Because whatever difficulties life may bring, you can always appreciate the gift of friends and family.