According to StudyFinds.org, 88% of Americans feel the holiday season is the most stressful time of the year. We want you to enjoy this time, so check out these 10 tips from your Professional Development team to eliminate stress and find your inner Zen this holiday season.
✨ Prepare Early
Whether you’re a multi-color list maker, mental note ninja, or sticky note fanatic, organizing your agenda early is key for managing the many layers of the holiday season. Double-check your deadlines, get your holiday hair appointment on the books, top off your gas tank, and prep your out-of-office away message early. Anything you can do in advance is one less thing you have to worry about mid-holiday.
✨ Finish Work Before the Holidays
Going into the holidays with a clean mental plate is one of the most important steps to enjoying your time away from the office. Take advantage of the fact that many businesses will be slowing down or closing altogether during the last two weeks of the year. Invest some time in scratching off those final to-do items from your list so that you can enjoy the holidays without a deadline looming over you.
✨ Identify Your Personal Stressors
It might seem simple, but understanding what causes your stress is incredibly helpful in managing that stress. Whether it’s the sound of an alarm clock, the gridlock traffic during rush hour, or the checkout line at the store, each of us have little triggers that make us tick. Identifying what those stressors are can help us come up with alternative solutions in advance to keep our blood below the boil mark.
✨ Prioritize Your Physical Wellbeing
It can be easy to say yes to one more frosted cookie, that extra creamy eggnog, or a quick and easy drive-thru meal, but your body will thank you if you are intentional in being kind to it during the holidays. Whether your idea of physical self-care is hitting the gym, walking through the park, getting in some yoga, or sinking your toes into sugar-white sand, taking care of your body will make you feel good physically AND mentally.
✨ Adopt a Cheerful Attitude
We can’t all be like the Grinch and win the title of Holiday Cheermeister, but we can let mind over matter guide our hearts into a more enjoyable holiday season. Putting a smile on your face even if you’re feeling grumpy is scientifically proven to change your brain chemistry and leads to genuine feelings of joy and happiness.
✨ Make Time for Loved Ones
The holidays can be a difficult time for many, especially those mourning the loss of loved ones. However, each of us has someone in our lives whom we look forward to sharing time with, and that should be capitalized on at this time of year. Whether your strongest heart bonds are with friends, family, furry pets, or your favorite client where you volunteer, be intentional in getting in some time with them.
✨ It’s Okay to Say No
This holiday season, the best gift you can give yourself is the power and acceptance to say no. Whether it’s kindly declining that fourth holiday party, keeping the guest list to a minimum, or choosing to buy the dessert instead of baking it from scratch, saying no shouldn’t make you feel guilty. By saying no to the things that stress you out, you’re leaving room to say yes to all the things that bring you joy.
✨ Give to Others (Gifts or Time – You Choose!)
Giving to others is a great way to boost your mood and eliminate stress. Whether you choose to spend time volunteering or picking out the perfect present, investing in someone else’s joy is a gift where both the giver and receiver benefit.
✨ Be Generous with Your Gratitude
The holidays are a time for gratitude and joy, but sometimes it can be difficult to find those warm and fuzzy feelings. If you’re looking for a surefire way to release some endorphins, compliments are a win-win for everyone. Showing appreciation for others, praising someone with a compliment, and responding to all situations (even the hard ones) with kindness activate the feel-good centers of not only our brains but the brains of those we’re complimenting.
✨ Remember What the Season Is All About
It’s during the holiday season that we are encouraged to think about what we are truly thankful for. Embrace this time, reflect, find clarity, and spend it how YOU want. Put the distractions behind you, enjoy what makes you happy, and find peace in the blank slate that the new year bestows upon us all.