Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How to Avoid/Release Holiday Stress

Today, I wanted to do a post that is not the most typical to my blog, but possibly very important for some of you. As we're in the holiday season, and get bombarded with commercials from the left and right, see all perfect pictures on social media and may even get pressure from our families, it's easy to get stressed about things. So, I'm sharing my tips on how to avoid stress.

fall outfit
Appreciate your rest and relaxation time. This is the most important thing, don't give up on resting and relaxing even if things get busy. (If only that's possible for you.) Resting makes us to recover from the stress and rush, and if we skip it, the body gets tired and therefore the mind will be exhausted as well. So whenever needed, take a little breather and appreciate yourself´. That's how you can make the best out of yourself during holidays. If you are like me, and get insomnia when stressed, one of my best tips is to not stare at the clock when you roll in the bed trying to sleep. For me, knowing what time it is stresses me more as I start to count how little I'll get sleep and also if I keep checking the time from the cell phone, I get that pesky blue light in my eyes that ruins the melatonin levels and furthers insomnia even more.

Plan out the things you need to do. This sounds corny coming from a lover of lists such as myself, but planning things makes such a difference. That's how you mentally make time for all the things that need to be done, and you can do everything little by little instead of having a huge rush just before Christmas.

Buy and make gifts well in advance. Unless your gift is something that expires easily (fresh edibles, flowers etc.) or otherwise can't be stored, get them early. If you have many people to get things for, this is especially important so that you'll avoid spending a ton in one month when you can be dividing the costs on two, three or how many months you care for. I planned the gifts in October and November, and started getting things in November. Therefore I'm ready with the presents already and can just enjoy giving them to people instead of running myself ragged in the rush hours of malls and shops to try and find something to give. Also, this tactic gives you an opportunity to get very personal gifts, as you can even order things somewhere.

christmas lights

Plan your budget well. This way, you won't end up overspending and can keep track on your bank account so that there won't be nasty surprises after the holidays. I did make a budget for the presents I'll be getting this year and even though the number seemed a little high, I figured it's divided for such many people and also it's the absolute maximum I was alright spending on Christmas. I also planned the budget that much ahead that I could use from November's and December's spending budget for the gifts, and still not be broke at all. I warmly recommend doing this if you don't already.

Don't put too much pressure on pleasing others. I'm the kind of person who used to do things just to please others rather than asking if it's something I really want to do. That caused a lot of stress because the things weren't necessarily things I enjoyed. Of course, we can't avoid all things we may have to do for others, but also don't feel like you have to bend over backwards to make someone else happy. I used to have people in my life who treated the Holiday times a bit intensely, and while they didn't mean anything bad by it, it actually made me hate Christmas quite a bit for a while, knowing I had to deal with said people and listen to all the complaints when things got stressful although they themselves were the ones who made the pressure to do too much in too little time. Actually, quite many things on this list thrive from what I learned those times so even though those holidays may have not been the best ever, at least they taught me something, and that's a thing I can be very grateful of as of now.

Don't forget what the holidays are about. Even if you're not into the spiritual side of the holidays, or represent other belief than Christianity, you may Still celebrate the holidays. And you may get caught up into the commercial side of the time no matter what your beliefs are. But, I believe that for most of us this time is for being with loved ones. Whether that is family, friends, pets, significant other… It's not about the flashy gifts, not about having the sparkling tidy home decorated with a ton of things, not about having too much food for you to eat in time. It's about enjoying the moment with people closest to us and being happy and thankful for everything we have. Holiday times are for many of us time to be off from work so there's extra time to really connect with the people. And that is something you can enjoy even on a super small budget, which I know some of us have. (Note: whatever you feel holidays are about is valid too, whatever makes you happy this time of the year, it does not have to be the same thing that makes me happy!)

body shop

Don't be ashamed of being on a budget. I for one can't afford to buy everyone dear to me very elaborate, glamorous and expensive things, and I also don't agree on buying things just for the sake of buying things "because it's the holidays". So I really flag for getting people something personal, whether it's knitting them mittens, baking them something, crafting gift cards for movie nights at my place etc. Our World is very material as it is, and I think many of us have more than enough stuff, so giving something more personal - and in this busy society, giving your time - might be more precious than any expensive item. Not that I don't like nice and shiny things and that I wouldn't spoil my girl friends with them if only I had the means to do so.

If you already have stress, slow down a bit. Take a minute to breathe, and to organize the situation. I find that often times when I stress about things, it's because I feel there's chaos (at least in my mind), and I can't properly focus on getting things done. Whenever I get overwhelmingly stressed, I take a step back from the things, list them out and think about the rational way to do them. Most times, this helps me see there's actually not as much chaos as I thought, but that half of it was in my mind. You can also try making a list of things you are thankful for. My colleague swears on thankfulness lists to get things off her mind and make her feel better, and I will be making at least one this Holiday season. And, if making lists sounds like too much on top of everything, just take the breather and relax.

Listen to music. This might sound corny again, but music has so much power. Blast your favorite songs more or less loudly - they don't have to be Holiday related at all, I would choose Amaranthe, Linkin Park or Alia Tempora as my stress relief bands, they all have amazing music and for me metal (and whatever you choose to call Linkin Park) is the gateway to relaxing and empowering myself. For you, this might be something completely different and that's more than fine.

Have a cup of hot beverage. This goes nicely with the two points above, you can have tea while listening to music or otherwise relaxing. Although, avoid drinking caffeine-infused drinks after 6 pm or so if you are sensitive to caffeine as I am, because it may disturb your sleep. But otherwise, having a hot drink may soothe you as for many of us it's a ritual of making the drink and sitting down to enjoy it, so therefore, it sneakily makes you have a relaxing moment even if you don't intend to do so - and if it doesn't, make a mental note and actually focus on the moment with the drink and enjoy it thoroughly.

These are my most important tips for getting through Holiday stress, if you have anything to add to the list, do tell those all in the comments below so we all can learn a thing or two from them!

That's all for this post, and I'll be back soon with another one. I'm actually so excited about all the holiday content I'll have coming for you and have written so many during the autumn already as I was pumped to get themed content out. I will probably start soon getting the January content planned so if you have any wishes for the start of the year, you better let me know soon before I fill the calendar! If you're in the mood for lighter content, head over to my Instagram (@silvertigo) or stay tuned for the next blog post which also will be a light one!

Have a lovely day ♥

Have a wonderful day ♥

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