A Massage Therapist's Tips to Avoid Stress This Holiday Season
Lights and decorations are popping up, stores are bustling, and we’re receiving invites to all kinds of get-togethers, which can only mean one thing: the holiday season is upon us.
While for a lot of people the holiday season is a time filled with fun, food, and loved ones, the holidays can also be hectic and stressful. Stores are crowded, the work that needs to be done feels never ending, you feel obligated to attend every holiday party you’re invited to and give gifts, and the money you spend adds up more than at any other time of year. These factors can all create stress that can lead to burnout and depression, and prevent you from enjoying your holidays.
If you get stressed by the holidays, we have some tips to help you relax and enjoy yourself this season.
Lists can be your best friends when it comes to staying stress-free through the holidays. Lay out lists of everything you want to do, need to get, gifts you’re going to give, etc. and set a plan on how you’re going to tackle the items. Starting to check things off your lists early instead of waiting until the middle of December will allow you more time to enjoy all that the season has to offer. If you’re on hosting duty, prepare any food you can ahead of time so you’re not stuck in the kitchen or running around getting things together on the day-of.
Set realistic expectations.
Maybe you dream of a picture-perfect holiday fit for a Hallmark movie or just wish you could get back to your holiday traditions of the before-times, but obsessing over your holidays can create unnecessary stress. It’s not the end of the world if your decorations aren’t hung just-right or your holiday dinner isn’t Instagram-worthy. Focus your energy on having a good time and creating happy memories, rather than hosting the perfect holiday get together, giving the perfect gifts, or fitting in every activity imaginable. Your mental health will thank you for it.
Set a budget.
Money and spending worries can be a big stressor at this time of year. But the holidays aren’t about how much you can spend, so set a budget for your holiday spending and stick to it. Gift giving is not a requirement for an enjoyable holiday, despite popular misconception. If you do feel inclined to give gifts, homemade gifts are not only less expensive but often more meaningful.
Share the load.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself; divide tasks and recruit helpers. Assign tasks like decorating or shopping to your children or partner. If you’re hosting a holiday party, consider having a potluck where guests each bring an item so you don’t have to prepare an entire meal. The responsibility for pulling off a great holiday shouldn’t fall on one person.
Get some sleep.
A good night’s sleep is essential to the health of your mind and body. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and recharge and is essential to our overall health. Maintaining good sleep hygiene will help you feel more relaxed during the day and help you function better overall, allowing you to better enjoy your holiday season.
Learn to say no.
You might feel obligated to attend every holiday party or event you get invited to, but a full schedule might leave you feeling overwhelmed and over-committing can cause anxiety. Prioritize invitations and don’t be afraid to turn down invitations in favor of enjoying some peaceful, restful time at home. Remember, sometimes less is more and you can’t always do it all.
Meditation is an easy and quick way to clear and calm your mind. Follow a guided meditation -you can find some for free on youtube or download an app- or just take a few minutes to sit quietly with a clear mind and breathe. Setting aside some time for some mindful minutes can do wonders for your stress level and mental health.
Maintain your self-care routine.
In all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it can be easy to lose track of time, but it’s important to continue doing the things you normally do to maintain your mental and bodily wellness. Take time to exercise, do yoga, take a bath, read a book, do a puzzle, or watch holiday movies. Whatever helps you maintain your mental health and feel at ease.
Get professional help if needed.
For many people, holiday stress can trigger depression. If your emotions or stress become more than you can imagine, it’s important to reach out to a professional therapist who can help you deal with what you’re feeling.
At Mindful Touch, we understand that avoiding stress is a key to enjoying the holiday season, and massage therapy is proven to soothe anxiety symptoms and relieve stress. During massage therapy, you experience feelings of relaxation and bliss, and easing the tension in your body can have a domino effect that does wonders to relieve your mental tension and stress levels. Regular massage therapy can create feelings of ease that last beyond the massage table, too. This holiday season, consider booking a massage therapy session like our Therapeutic Relaxation, Hot Stone, or Serenity massages and feel your stress melt away.