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Whether the holidays are a difficult or joyous time for you, they can be A LOT. We want to help ease the way with a few quick hacks for you to implement this holiday season:
Pay attention to your feelings and energy levels. It is supposed to be a holiday break, so make sure you leave time to recharge and take care of your mental health. That may involve sleeping in, taking a bath, finally finishing that book or strolling outside, but it can also mean finding support through loved ones or a mental health professional.
It can be tricky — especially if you're away or hosting guests — but sticking to part of your regular routine, whether it's an exercise routine, meal habit, or sleep schedule, can go a long way to keeping you grounded.1 Exercise, in particular, is important for our mental health, a great way to relieve stress and an excuse for some alone time.2
'Tis the season of busyness. All these events and parties can run you down, so don't try to do it all. Instead, take time to figure out which events and traditions are your priorities, then figure out how much more you can handle and go from there. "Less is more" will ensure you have the energy to enjoy the festivities you're excited about.
Put less pressure on yourself to make the holiday experience perfect. The holidays don't need to be pristine and exciting at every moment… sometimes the little things are nice, and sometimes you just aren't feeling it. Practicing gratitude is another great way to boost your happiness levels and simply enjoy the moment as it is.
For many, the holiday means spending time with family with whom we may not see eye-to-eye. Mitigate their impact by preparing neutral responses, assigning a rescuer who will interrupt, practicing healthy communication strategies, having positive self-talks and devising an exit plan for leaving early. While this list is in no way exhaustive, it might help you feel more relaxed about attending certain events.
Holidays can also be loud and rambunctious. Whether you're in a quiet space away from houseguests, in a spare room at a party or en route to the next function, listening to soothing music, podcasts or audiobooks can give your ears and mind a break from the holiday hecticness.
Late-night holiday events can be great, but keep sleep in mind and catch up when you can. Sleep is essential to supporting our immune system and mental health, especially over the holidays.3 If you’re looking for more ways to optimize your sleep check out these four simple sleep hacks.
The holiday season means something different for everyone. It might be the first holiday without a loved one, it may be full of triggers, or it may simply mark the closing of another year and nothing more. Remember to use this time to recharge, reflect and get ready for the new year — there's no right or wrong way to greet the season.