For many, December is considered the most wonderful time of year! We enjoy time off work, all the delicious food, and many seasonal traditions. But with the arrival of the holiday season, it’s important that we also take time to unwind.
The holiday season can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. The unrealistic expectations put on us during the holidays, like constantly having to entertain guests or buy the perfect gifts, can make it difficult to truly enjoy this time of year. According to an online survey, one-in-four Canadians anticipate their holidays to be more stressful than fun.
The holiday season may take a toll on you, so it’s vital to your well-being that you find ways to unwind. When stress is at its peak, it can be difficult to stop and regroup. This is why learning to minimize stress before it gets to that point is so important. When we’re less stressed, it’s easier to enjoy everything the holiday season has to offer us. Learning to de-stress during the holidays is critical to our self-care. To help guide you down the right path, we’re sharing 3 tips to help you unwind from your holiday stress.
Embrace saying no
What’s the most important thing we can do to balance our priorities and unwind during the holiday season? Embrace using the word “no” as a complete sentence. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t need to explain why, a simple “no” is enough. Learning to say “no” is a form of setting healthy boundaries with those around us. When we set these boundaries, we’re choosing to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others. This is vital to our wellbeing.
Many of us may be uncomfortable with the idea of setting boundaries. This could be out of fear that those closest to us will be upset with our decision or find us selfish. This is especially true during the holiday season, where we’re encouraged to be completely selfless and prioritize the happiness of others over our own.
But we’re here to remind you that putting yourself first isn’t selfish, it’s necessary to your health. When we don’t set these boundaries, we’re telling ourselves that what we need and want doesn’t matter. This paves the way for stress to build up. To unwind during the holidays, we must learn to use the word “no” more often. This will help us carve out more time to do things that are beneficial to our well-being, like relaxing.
Be realistic about what you can do
One reason some of us may dread the arrival of the holiday season is because of our to-do lists. There are usually so many things that need to get done before we can actually enjoy ourselves and unwind. Buying gifts for loved ones and decorating our home for the season may be fun, but it’s also stressful..
The holiday season should be about unwinding and spending time doing things that make us the happiest version of ourselves. This can be difficult when we’re exhausted and overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to be honest about the things we’re able to accomplish, and avoid putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves.
When we create our to-do lists, we tend to write down everything that comes to mind that we feel is a priority, even if it actually isn’t. Doing this can cause unnecessary stress, and make it harder for us to unwind during the holidays.
In order to pare down our lists and be realistic about what we’re able to accomplish, we must separate what “has” to get done, from “what would be nice” to get done. Making this distinction will enable us to create a more realistic to-do list. It will also help us to understand our true priorities, and give us more time to unwind. For more ways to make our holiday to-do lists more manageable, read through this article.
Allow yourself to disconnect
Did you know that the use of technology can negatively affect our ability to unwind? According to Narcity, the average Canadian aged 18-34 spends approximately 13.1 hours a day in front of a screen.
The holidays should be a time to unwind from our stress, not pile more on, but this can be hard to do in the presence of technology. During this time of year, we may be even more inclined to spend time in front of screens. We’re sending end-of-year wishes to family and friends, doing our holiday-related shopping online, answering any pressing work emails before our time off, or scrolling through social media for inspiration on how to decorate our homes.
While it may feel impossible to avoid technology entirely, it’s vital that we limit the amount of exposure we have to screens to properly unwind during the holidays. When we’re not being bombarded with work emails or constantly scrolling through Pinterest for gift ideas, our minds are able to slow down and take a break.
Unwind this holiday season
The holiday season is a time of stress for many, but it’s also a time to recharge for a new year. Giving ourselves time to unwind throughout the holiday season allows our body and mind to reboot and refresh. This is so important in avoiding feeling overwhelmed.
This holiday season, embrace using the word “no” to create healthy boundaries. Learn to be realistic about your abilities and time. Disconnect from technology to make more room for unwinding.
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