Gasp! How can I be talking about the holidays already? I noticed a few weeks back that the Halloween decorations were starting to grace the shelves of my favorite stores and the aisles were getting cleared to make room for Christmas items. Every year it feels like the holiday craze starts earlier and earlier.
I am a planner at heart, so immediately I start making lists in my head. What I really want to make it do is stop. I feel like we just made it through a really rough first quarter of high school for my son and there was no time for any rest before the holiday buzz began.
How can we turn the holiday madness into holiday magic? These 3 simple steps can help.
Start Early by Planning Ahead
I love to plan and create actionable lists. Sometimes I make a list, add items to it I already completed, and check them off anyway. C’mon, some of you know you do it too!
Starting early with a holiday plan will give you the time you need to chip away at the things you want to get done in the months ahead. It will also benefit your wallet. We spend so much on the holidays that a well-executed plan will help spread out the expenses so they don’t hit you all at once.
- Create a list and keep it simple.
- Work the list by knocking out a few items or presents a week.
- Resist adding more items like last-minute add-ons.
One of the best ways to combat stress and overwhelm is to keep moving, literally. Whether it’s stretching at your desk or getting up for a walk, your body craves movement and the movement is good for your mind and soul. It can also spark creativity,
- Go for a quick walk around the block or use the stairs at work.
- Do desk stretches.
- Practice the stand-up, and sit-down exercises for 20 reps to get the blood flowing.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Practice your favorite yoga poses. Don’t have any? Here are 7 Calming Yoga Poses.
- Just breathe. Here’s a list of excellent deep breathing exercises.
Be Kind to Yourself
You’re doing the best you can. Remember that and all of the many ways you’re thriving during a very busy and uncertain time. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what once was, what could be and what isn’t in your life. Reflect on what makes you grateful each day. Remember you are enough and you’re doing enough.
Being kind to yourself will help not only reduce the stress in your mind and body, but it will also serve as a way to increase your self-love, awareness, and gratitude. It can help calm your mind. And we can all use a bit more calm these days! Kindness matters and doesn’t cost a thing. It will pay you back tenfold with a healthier and happier outlook on life.
You can practice these simple ways to reduce stress at any time in the year. Whether it’s the holiday season or a season in your life that causes stress, you can still thrive by making time to plan ahead, exercise, and be kind to yourself for better health.
Now it’s your turn. What will you do next to reduce stress?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.