Are you the type of person who has a tough time settling down during the holidays? Do you dread this time of year because you find it next to impossible to do the one thing you desperately want and need to do: relax and spend time with those important to you?
As a person with some type A personality traits combined with a workaholic nature, I admit that taking a break often leaves me feeling very strange. I have a hard time untangling myself from emails and phone calls, even as friends and family urge me to relax. The truth is, I find it initially stressful to gear down to enjoy my time off and need to pace myself. Just when I get into the holiday spirits—the perfectionist in me comes out and I stress out over gift buying, decorating and attending parties. Do you find yourself getting caught up in the frenzy without feeling any of the “warm fuzzies” of the season?
According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, stress tends to increase rather than decrease for most of us during the holidays. All of us can use a few tips on how to escape the hype of the holidays and concentrate on relaxing, rejuvenating and recharging during this time.
Change it up
Your ritual can cause stress any time of the year, let alone when you are trying to keep up with your regular schedule during the hectic holiday activities. Change it up and disrupt your normal routine: eat dessert for breakfast or plan a fun event with your family or friends. You can shock your subconscious into relaxing into holiday mode by going completely non-routine.
Plan for wellness experiences
If sitting at home and zoning out doesn’t appeal to you, then schedule some much needed relaxation. Rejuvenate yourself with a spa day or even cultivate connections by planning to spend that day with those close to you. Make time for exercise, which can have an antidepressant-like effect on you while at the same time, eases muscle tension. Even taking time for a quick walk around the block can help boost your mood, which will help you to relax.
Don’t go overboard
Don’t fill your down time with nonstop holiday parties and happenings. This can keep you from getting some well-needed downtime at home. Try to schedule only two more manageable goals a day—this will help keep you in “break” mode. Getting these few things done each day will keep you satisfied and also allow you to relax at a more leisurely pace.
Put it into perspective
The key to enjoying and relaxing during the holidays may be found in the way you perceive them. Adjusting your attitude and your expectations can make all the difference. Keeping a positive attitude will allow you to be more open to the opportunities around you for affirmative, renewing experiences. When you feel yourself getting caught up in the hype, remind yourself that the goal is to chill out and have a good time. Not everything has to be an event!
Keep work at work
Don’t let your work obligations seep into your holiday break! I have found the best way to do this is to power down my phone and unplug my computer. With all of the access to today’s technology, it is too easy to get sucked into the bottomless pit of work while trying to relax. Switch off those push notifications and take a real break—you deserve it.
Most people say spending time with family and friends is what they look forward to most during the holidays. Here’s to spending this season relaxing, rejuvenating and recharging!
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen.
Happy Holidays to you and yours when it comes 🙂 ~Peace and Love ҉ ♥ ∞
Credits: Creative Commons images courtesy of Paul Cooper (1st image) and geir tønnessen(2nd image).
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Kaylaa T. Blackwell is an IT Professional working @ Itron, Inc. and a student @ Southern New Hampshire University with a penchant for writing, researching and helping others resolve real world issues. She has a great interest in technology, business and psychology and how they impact each other. Learn more about her here.