Let’s face it: the holidays can be just as stressful as they are cheerful. Gift buying, decorating, cooking, parties—the to-do list seems to just keep growing this time of year. Taking some time to breath, relax and regroup is necessary.
“You are better able to give to others if you haven’t completely depleted all of your own energy,” said Elizabeth McCourt, a leadership expert and speaker based in Westhampton Beach. “Our bodies need a break and our minds do, too.”
But where do you find the time? McCourt offered simple tips to help you keep your sanity this season.
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Take your lunch break
Take advantage of that midday break that often goes ignored. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a quick coffee run, these peaceful moments will make all the difference in your day. “We can get caught up with filling in the space with extra things on our list. Why not give yourself time to refresh your brain so you can be more productive?”
This calming practice may come in even more handy during the holiday season. Meditation is believed to help with stress management, increase patience and reduce negative emotions. “Start small with 30 seconds and see if you can do it a few times a week slowly building up to 3 to 5 minutes,” she said.
Have a solo date
We’re so used to calling up our significant other or friends to join us on a day out. There’s nothing wrong with company, but once in a while it’s a good idea to explore the world around you on your own. Opt to grab some coffee or lunch solo. This alone time can boost your confidence or even give you compassion for a stranger. But most importantly, “use this as a time to treat yourself,” McCourt said.
Don’t forget to appreciate the good in your life this holiday season. McCourt suggested starting a gratitude journal. It’s not necessary to write a lot; even a sentence or two will do. But acknowledging what you’re grateful for “might change your mindset.”