Over the last few years, I’ve been mentally prepping myself before the holidays. Breathe. Stay on top of things. Don’t sweat the small stuff. My stress levels seem to creep up as soon as I even think about Christmas! So, what does it take to keep your sanity during the holidays? How do you juggle a family, work and all the festivities? Check out these techniques for keeping your cool.
Slow your breath. Slowing down your breath is one of those really simple and basic strategies to boost your frame of mind. When we are stressed, we speed up our breathing and breathe from the chest instead of the diaphragm, which supplies more oxygen to our brain. One of the most basic breathing exercises is called the “Four Square” or “Box Breathing” technique. All you do is count to four as you breathe in, count to four while holding your breath, count to four as you breathe out, and count to four while resting. Then do it over again until the stressful moment has abated and your breath returns to normal.
Cut yourself some slack. Stress is one of the biggest contributors to holiday blues. You know how bad it is for your body, so give yourself a break and kick anxiety to the curb by eliminating as much stress as you can. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but you can always find little ways to cut some of it out of your life. Delegate chores to your children (builds their self-esteem), simplify meals, and take care of numero uno.
Make sure to laugh. Laughing is as important as eating a ton of Omega-3 fatty acids and doing regular exercise – it really gives your brain a boost – so make sure to laugh at yourself and others (maybe behind their backs) to help you relax when times get tough. Always remember the mantra: I never did mind about the little things.
Keep calm and keep it simple. Christmas can get complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Focus on the spirit of family and giving, rather than the hype of commercialism – give your children the gift of simplicity this Christmas.
Make your home an oasis. The holidays disrupt daily routine, so don’t make your home a place you don’t want to be. Maintain order by continuing to use your calendar or planner, keep your house clutter-free and try to get enough sleep. When your children’s routine is disrupted, they act up and that makes life more difficult for mom. Try these 7 tips for a stress-free home to help you get back on track.
By Kristen Wint