The holidays are full of smiling kids, men in red suits and beards, and stress. Lots of stress. The reasons for this are nearly infinite and differ from one person to another. But at the core of it, we are trying to fit more activities into our already hectic schedules, and feelings—good, sad, and hard—often find their way into the mix as well.
Here are several ways to help you reduce the stress in your life this holiday season. I hope you find it to be helpful so that you can destress and sit with a cup of hot chocolate watching your favorite movie.
I’ve also tucked in a suggestion that can help you save time and stress at work, not only for this season but all year round.
Feelings are OK
The holidays can be hard if you’ve lost someone you were close to (even if it was years ago), if you can’t be with those you love, or if you have difficult memories from years past. Instead of pushing them down or trying to ignore them—most often unsuccessfully—try acknowledging them. Cry if you need to. Talk about it, even to your dog or cat. Then, let go of it for as long as you are able.
Spend time Outside
Whether you are in a warm climate or a snowy one, getting outside and enjoying nature is an excellent way to reduce stress. Be intentional about your time outdoors—listen for the birds, feel the grass or sand under your feet, make a snowball or snow angel, and reconnect with your inner 10-year-old. Remember the joy of being outside? The freedom?
Make Self-Care a Priority
Taking care of yourself gives you the ability to care for others and keeps stress down. What helps you relax? Is it going to the gym, getting a massage, reading a book, listening to music on loud, or indulging in retail therapy? Choose something that helps you relax and feel rejuvenated.
It’s OK to Say No
During the holidays, there can be a lot of demands on your time. It might be parties you are invited to, cookies and other dishes you are asked to make, shopping for the perfect gift, or decorating the house that creates extra stress. Did you realize that you CAN say no? Tell whoever—or yourself—that you can’t this year, and you hope they understand.
Shift Your Focus
If you are getting frustrated or overwhelmed and want to hide in a corner somewhere, shifting your focus can be incredibly beneficial. Instead of all the negative thoughts, think about every reason you have to be grateful. A friend once told me that there is no room for negative thoughts when she focuses on gratefulness.
Be Kind to Others
When you see others struggling or being unpleasant, break the cycle and reach out in kindness. Maybe it’s just a smile, or perhaps it means paying them a compliment or shifting a conversation if someone is getting snarky. Usually, an unpleasant person is suffering in some way, and it helps the rest of us if we remember that.
Reduce Business Stress by Reading a Magazine
If you feel stressed on the business front, give my new magazine, The Review, a read. I’ve collected my most helpful, impactful blog posts from the past two years and put them together in a magazine to help you with everything from boxes to tape, QR codes, and much more. Read it from cover to cover, or use it as a reference tool and search for the topic you need help with.
If you need help destressing from ordering your packaging supplies, call us at (773) 235-6060.
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