If you’re anything like me, someone hit my “on” button and I haven’t figured out how to turn it back off. I’ve been going a million miles a minute and I’ve realized I need to take a few (ok, a lot) of those minutes to simply take a breath and enjoy the season. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this busy time of year is probably the most important time to prioritize some self-care.
As much as we (mostly) love being “holiday busy”, the hectic schedule of Christmas parties and other joyful festivities can become more busy and less holiday if we don’t remember to take care of ourselves.
So, take back a little bit of you-time this December! Here are five simple ways to relax during the holidays.
The “You” Block
Just like that meeting you can’t miss, schedule time for you and don’t cancel! Whether it’s once a day or once a week, set aside a block of time for you; time that can’t be used for work or chores. Read a book, watch a sappy Christmas movie, or spend an afternoon in the park with Fido! My go-to choice is a Sunday morning sunrise with tea and a journal.
Put The Phone Down
The simplest (and most difficult) way to make extra time for you is to put the phone down.
I know it’s hard, but try to limit electronics use especially before going to bed. When the only thing left on the schedule is to go to sleep, it’s easy to push your bedtime later and later because “one email” somehow turned into over an hour of social media scrolling. My rule is no electronics 1-2 hours before bed. I use the time to unwind, journal, play with my kitties, and read.
The more you have to do, the more important sleep is. Make getting enough sleep a priority and you’ll find yourself much happier, energized, and relaxed. I have a reminder that tells me to start my evening routine an hour before bedtime so that everything is wrapped up and ready for morning.
Light a Candle
I love candles but if they’re not your thing find what it is that relaxes you. Aromatherapy has a huge impact on mood! Diffusing essential oils is a perfect choice as well so whenever you’re at home, set the mood. Whether it’s your favorite candle or gentle music in the background, make it a space that relaxes you even if there’s work to be done. I have a very special candle that I use when I’m at my desk working – it brings me back to a magical place and inspires me!
Setting aside time for exercise, even just a walk around the block, has more than one benefit. Exercise helps work off Christmas cookies as well as keeps those pesky stress hormones at bay. My doctor recently told me that I have a “prescription” for workouts – it’s not just recommended, it’s required! Staying physically active is a huge help with my anxiety and panic attacks. (Oh those fabulous endorphins.) The extra bonus of exercising? Your energetic pooch can join you on your evening stroll!
What’s you’re favorite way to unwind?