With the holidays in full swing, there’s a good chance you're stressed out, hurried, and feeling the pressure of the season. Your mind, body, and spirit are probably feeling (and showing) the effects of this frantic pace, despite the fact that it's supposed to be a happy and joyous time.
By trying to do too much at once — attend six parties on the same night, check off a dozen errands in five minutes, bake hundreds of holiday cookies — we position ourselves directly in the path of stress, which, when combined with all of the festive eating and drinking we're doing, undoubtedly wreaks havoc on our minds, bodies, and spirits.
If you're feeling the effects of this holiday madness, a great way to cope is to take a full day to reset and commit to staying out of that danger zone. Don't save "take better care of myself" for your resolution list. Instead, get started now with this 24-hour reset that will get your mind and body back to where they belong.
Here are 10 different takes on how to reset yourself in a day. Pick one or as many as you like that resonate with you!
1. Take a digital time-out.
I’ve integrated this healthy habit into my life and it’s been a game- and life-changer. No checking email, no posting on the countless social media platforms, no trying to get the “perfect” Instagram shot. While social media and technology can certainly be useful, they've also become major players when it comes to stress and peer pressure. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a digital time-out and do something healthy instead.
2. Make time for self-care.
Making time for yourself is vital if you also want to be there for others. Think of self-care as the oxygen mask on an airplane: According to all the instructional videos and pamphlets, you need to put your own mask on before you can help others with theirs. The same goes for self-care. If you're stressed and unhealthy, that doesn't help anyone (least of all you).
3. Spend time outside, surrounded by nature.
Nature provides us with a grounding effect, which in turns helps us manage stress. Make sure you leave your iPod/headphones at home — utilize your senses and relish the stillness and quiet. Whether it's a quite walk around a local nature preserve or a long drive to the mountains, find time to reconnect with nature.
4. Practice deep breathing.
Deep breathing is incredibly beneficial for calming the nervous system. Inhale deeply starting just below the stomach for a count of five and follow the breath up slowly to your chest. Then exhale for count of five down to the base of your breath. This simple but very effective exercise can be done anywhere — sitting in traffic, waiting in line at a store, working at your desk — anytime you feel anxious.
5. Move your body.
Our bodies were made to move freely! But between driving, watching TV, and sitting at a desk ... all these hours add up to have a profound effect on our overall well-being. (Seriously, just look at what all that sitting is doing to your health.) Think about how many hours every day you actually spend sitting down. It's not pretty, right?
During this reset, make it a priority to get moving. Take a literal hike. Register for a workout class. Get your family to walk around the neighborhood after dinner.
6. Think healthy thoughts.
How healthy is your headspace? A healthy headspace isn't only critical for this reset but for everything that comes after it as well. Maybe there's a negative thought that keeps running through your head or some nasty self-talk you can't seem to stop. Well, use these 24 hours to start a healthy dialogue with yourself. If you really struggle with negative thoughts, this is a great time for you to take control of your headspace and implement healthy thoughts.
7. Love yourself.
Similar to making time for self-care, loving yourself is also important. If you don’t truly love yourself, then you'll find excuses not to be healthy or sabotage yourself. But remember: You are worthy of living a healthy life! Love yourself by practicing healthy habits (most of which are also a part of this reset). Move your body frequently. Eat nourishing food. Read things that will inspire and build you up. Surround yourself with loving, healthy people.
8. Say no.
Here's your permission to say "no" this holiday season, and you don't even need to make excuses for why you're declining an invitation. Simply tell the truth: that you're taking care of yourself and feel stretched too thin. Don't harbor guilt or beat yourself up because you didn't attend every function you were invited to. Saying no is okay and it's a healthy boundary worth establishing regardless of the time of year.
Are you so exhausted you could fall asleep right now? Are you're grouchy or irritable? Our bodies and minds weren't created to run full-throttle all the time, nor do they function well on little sleep. So make time for yourself to get ample rest and relaxation.
10. Be mindful of your time.
If you aren’t intentional with your schedule, you will find out very quickly that it will become overrun with appointments, events, shopping lists, and other obligations. Go through your calendar to see what can wait until later or which things you can delegate. Be sure to create a lot of free space on your calendar for things and people that are truly important to you, that will make you feel better and more whole.
I hope you make time to reset in just a day and regain your sanity by doing so!
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