“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” –Voltaire
The holidays bring a certain sense of community that we don’t necessarily feel all year. It is the season to gather with family and friends and to show them how much you appreciate them being around. Without their support who knows where you would be?
ONE BIG THING gets to many of us during the holidays, despite the cheerful nature of the season. Did you guess it? STRESS. We need to de-stress and avoid the nagging feeling that we just don’t have enough time, maybe forgot someone’s gift, or didn’t hang enough ornaments on the tree. Maybe your pie just isn’t good enough… Forget it!
Do not succumb to the stress and anxiety of over-thinking because that is all you are doing when your concerns surround gifts and pie baking. As accomplished individuals we want things to be perfect and to find our holidays running seamlessly all of the time. I see people in my life who get way too stressed out over the holidays and I try so hard to talk them down. Unnecessary stress is not worth ruining your holiday season.
Be sure you are setting aside time for yourself to de-stress, relax, and show a little appreciation. YOU deserve it! The little things will be so much easier if you allow yourself to stay calm and truly enjoy the atmosphere during the holidays.
10 Ways to De-Stress and Spread the Love:
Uncork the wine
We all know that a little vino goes a long way. Red wine, specifically, is good for the heart. Any wine, in my opinion, is an incredible way to relieve after-work stress. Grab yourself a bottle on the way home and pour a generous glass with dinner. All that’s left to do is let yourself unwind and enjoy your time.
Sit by the fire
There is just something about a fire that is calming. Sitting by the fireplace has always been a favorite of mine. The smell of the cinder, the crackling of the flames, and the warmth encompassing you make for quite an experience. It is a simple tactic that goes a long way. Turn on your favorite holiday flick and enjoy the company of your family while roasting some marshmallows over the flames. This way, you can make it a family affair. Laugh about each others days and talk about your excitement for the holidays ahead!
Do a little reading
Getting lost in a good piece of literature can really help to get rid of unwanted stress. If you don’t like books so much try a magazine, the newspaper or articles. Everyone has their preference, but it works the same. I recommend avoiding anything political as it may just stress you out more (yikes). Play some calm music in the background and enjoy some time to yourself – you probably don’t get it too often!
Send a note
Sending a short text, email or hand-written note to someone close to you or someone you wish to reconnect with could make their and your day. It is a simple gesture of appreciation that can make a lasting impression. It’s as simple as sending a message that says ‘have a great day’ or a thank you for something they have done. The feeling of kindness will follow you throughout the rest of the day.
Take 10 minutes a day to just breathe
Having a stressful day? Don’t forget to breathe. Sit down in quiet for just 10 minutes a day to think about life for a few moments. This is a time for inner-peace, self-reflection, and acknowledgement of everything that is going right. With every breathe forget about the problems that have been nagging you throughout the day. You know that saying, right? “Inhale the good sh*t; Exhale the bullsh*t” – it goes a long way!
Wake up happy to improve your day
Set your alarm for just 15-30 minutes earlier and it can make all the difference in your attitude. Pour a steaming hot mug of tea or coffee and eat a healthy, filling breakfast. No breakfast means no energy! You will notice a big shift in your energy levels throughout the day by simply eating a healthy breakfast. Getting up early means more time to get ready, wake up, and leave home without being in a hurry (we know rushing leads to major peaks in stress before and after work). A good morning means a good day! 🙂
Keep a journal
Writing things down allows you to take the negative thoughts out of your head and, in a sense, talk it out. Take notes throughout the day so you can reflect on them later. Note the kindness you see around you and the goals you have for yourself. Make it a point to acknowledge the positives so they outweigh the negatives. In the future you can look back and smile at what you have written over time. Imagine if you wrote one positive thing every day and what good could come from it!
Make the call
Maybe you have a few minutes on your lunch break or your commute home. Take that time to call someone up and have a friendly conversation. Talking about your day and having a good laugh can turn even the most sour, upset, or lonely moods around. Reminisce a little bit, talk about the holidays, and make plans for a nice dinner on the town. Talking can relieve stress and it’s just another reason to appreciate those who take the time to answer the phone and talk to you for a while.
Take a walk outdoors
Nothing is a pick-me-up/wake-up call like taking a stroll outdoors. This is the perfect season to take a step outside and observe the beauty of nature. Nature has an incredible ability to humble us as we take in everything it has to offer. Walking outside lets you breathe in the fresh air, clear your mind, and get exercise which is known for mood boosting. If you have a dog, even better! Take your furry friend for a casual stroll.
Make it your goal to spread an act of kindness every day
Spread one act of kindness to someone you either don’t know or don’t know well each and every day. Good karma will come back to you! This can be as simple as holding the door with a smile, introducing yourself to person sitting next to you, or paying a compliment to someone during the day. Smiling is contagious, so why not try and smile at those who look like they could use a little extra boost in their day?
Don’t forget to spread the love & find joy in the simple things.
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