Practical ways to survive holiday stress.

 
 

Oh the holiday season...

I'm totally feeling the holiday cheer this year. (Or maybe it's just because mother nature has forgotten that it's winter time in Minnesota... Either way I'm totally diggin' it.)

But really, I'm kinda in love with the spectacle that is Christmastime. The smell of the fir trees, the sparkly lights, Adele's new slow jams...

It's all helping me get my hygge on (aka my cozy vibes of winter under this plush throw).

But, it's not all wood burning stoves and pumpkin spiced lattes over here. If you're anything like me, the holiday season also comes with a large helping of holiday stress.

I think that 99% of my holiday stress is caused by my calendar. And I wouldn't be surprised if yours was too.

Just looking at all those color coded chunks of time blocked off makes me feel like I need to schedule in breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Ugh!

Don't go running for the hills quite yet though. I've got you covered.

Here are three practical and easy ways to deal with stress, survive the holidays, and get a little more hygge in your life.

ADD IN A PINCH OF SELF-CARE. EVERYDAY.

Self-care is all the rage these days and for good reason. Keeping your batteries charged is essential during this time of year.

How can you expect to be generous and helpful during the holidays if you’re constantly running on empty?

Don’t overwhelm yourself with grand ideas that take lots of time or money. (Like how I convinced myself once upon a time that I was going to do yoga EVERY DAY. Ha!)

Sometimes the best self-care habits can be completed in 10 minutes for free. And choosing a simple self-care tactic will ensure that you’ll stay more committed to it when your calendar looks like a Mark Rothko painting.

Looking for some self-care ideas? Here’s ten of my favorite:

1. Wake up 10 min early every morning and do some stretching or yoga poses.
2. Spend mealtime at a table WITH your family and withOUT the TV or computer (or that tiny computer you call a phone).
3. Listen to your favorite song before bed.
4. Write out a gratitude list every morning.
5. Pick up a lost hobby - painting, playing guitar, woodworking, etc.
6. Start a puzzle and work on it every nightbefore bed.
7. Take a walk during your lunch break. (And leave your phone at your desk!)
8. Listen to a guided meditation.
9. Curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.
10. Write a love letter to yourself listing out accomplishments that have made you proud.

LEARN HOW TO SAY “NO. THANKS!”

Are you actually excited to go to that ugly sweater party your co-workers have been going on and on about? Or are you shopping at your local thrift store right now for the ugliest of the ugly out of a sense of obligation?

Time to take back control over your calendar.

Take a look at the mess you call your calendar and use a big red marker to circle the events you’re thrilled to go to. Now take another color and circle the events that you’d love to stop by at if you’re feeling in the mood.

Now take a black marker and cross out everything else. Really. Do it.

The world isn’t going to end if you don’t drag yourself to a party you didn’t want to go to in the first place. There’s only so much time and there’s a zillion things going on. Don’t stress yourself out about doing all of them - you’ll just end up feeling crappy and it'll keep you from enjoying any of them.

UNPLUG. DISCONNECT TO CONNECT.

The holiday season is supposed to be about connecting with friends and loved ones, but it seems nearly impossible do that when we can barely look up from our game of Candy Crush or Words with Friends to give our Grandma a kiss on the cheek or hear about our cousin’s great hockey victory.

You wonder why there aren't enough hours in the day? It's because Facebook (and Instagram, and Twitter, and Periscope, and even this dang blog post you're reading) has stolen them.

This year, consider taking Facebook off your phone as a present to yourself and your sanity. Over the summer I disabled all of the notifications on my phone other than text messages and it was just about the best decision I made all year.

Or how about leaving your phone on silent when you're making the holiday rounds. (That means no vibrating mode either!) Or what the hell - leave it in the car altogether!

You could set aside dedicated social media time to catch up with your internet buds or maybe commit to only checking your email from an actual laptop/desktop/etc.

Technology is great when we’re lost, can't find our trusty atlas, and are too proud to stop at a gas station to ask for directions, but it isn’t that great when it keeps us from connecting with people in real life.

These are just a few of the ways that I'll be surviving over the next two weeks. (Plus I've already blocked off time in my calendar for my workouts and acupuncture - acupuncturists need acupuncture too ya know!)

Comment below and let me know your favorite ways to stay sane as the new year approaches!