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Finding Calm in the Holiday Hustle and Bustle

The holiday season often brings joy and togetherness, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of year. Between shopping, parties, family visits, cooking, cleaning, working, and general holiday hullabaloo, our schedules fill up quickly. With so much going on, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and anxious. However, there are many effective ways to carve out moments of peace and relaxation amidst the holiday frenzy.

Make Time for Yourself

Don’t abandon your self-care regimen. The added holiday pressures make it even more crucial to eat well, exercise, get proper rest, and do things that nourish your mental health, whether it’s enjoying nature, reading, crafting, or just relaxing with a cup of tea. Protect this personal time by marking it in your calendar and making it a priority when other commitments creep into the picture. Even 15 minutes to breathe deeply, stretch, or meditate can work wonders.

Embrace the Power of “No”

The holiday season brings a barrage of parties, outings, and hosting duties. While special seasonal celebrations matter, don’t overwhelm your schedule to the point of exhaustion. Be picky about events and traditions so you can fully appreciate and be present for the ones you do choose. When your plate fills up, it’s perfectly fine to say “no” – guard against overcommitting yourself.

Take Tech Timeouts

Set boundaries around digital devices. Constant emails, texts, notifications, and online shopping can heighten anxiety. Build in tech-free blocks of time each day when you disengage from screens and enjoy simpler pleasures. Disable distracting alerts, avoid endless scrolling traps, and make time for both connecting with loved ones…and yourself.

Seek Out Nature

Studies show that spending time outdoors relieves stress and boosts mood. Make an effort to get outside daily, even for 10 minutes. Go for walks, hike nearby trails, enjoy your morning coffee on the patio. If weather permits, open windows to let fresh air in. Indoor plants can also bring natural vitality inside. Inspire a sense of inner calm by surrounding yourself with living things.

Practice Mindfulness

Rather than counting down to the holidays, focus on being fully present each day. When tackling tasks, concentrate on the activity without judgment. Pause periodically, take some deep breaths, release tension, and recenter. Stay calm amidst the planning, shopping, cleaning, cooking, and socializing by continually returning your awareness to the present moment.

Keep Things Simple

Holiday traditions often pressure us to overdo – more gifts, more food, more everything. But excess leads to anxiety, debt, waste, and exhaustion. Instead, aim to simplify. Consolidate gatherings, make easy meals, give consumables or experiences instead of stuff, reuse decorations, relax cleanliness standards, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Let go of unrealistic Pinterest-worthy expectations so you can actually enjoy the season.

Make Sleep a Priority

Aim for 7-9 hours per night. With so much going on, sleep often suffers. Yet proper rest bolsters resilience against holiday headaches and blues. Maintain consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, even on weekends. Power down digital devices 1-2 hours before bed and try natural sleep aids like magnesium, chamomile tea, or calming essential oils. Protecting your sleep protects your peace.

Seek Out Extra Support

If seasonal anxiety or depression persists despite your best self-care efforts, don’t go it alone. Many experience the holiday blues. Talk to trusted friends and family who can listen and offer reassurance. Consider scheduling a counseling session to help sort through challenging emotions. Temporary use of anti-anxiety medication can also smooth out rough patches during this stressful season.

The holiday frenzy brings joy, but also strained nerves, jam-packed schedules, obligations, expenses, family drama, and exhaustion. By setting boundaries, keeping things simple, tapping into nature’s restorative power, and making self-care a priority, you can find pockets of peace and calm during this bustling time of year. Protect your physical, mental and emotional well-being so you can fully immerse yourself in the meaningful moments that matter most.