We all know the holidays can be a chaotic time of year with all the shopping, prepping, and going from one gathering to the next. Often times, just taking a few minutes to decompress and change your mindset can lower your level of stress and help you face the rest of your day. Check out our five suggestions for taking a short break from all the madness and relaxing your body and soul.
1. Spend a few minutes petting your cat or dog. Curl up with your favourite furry friend for a few minutes to get your mind off your stressful day. It has been found that people who have pets are likely to have lower blood pressure and to be better at dealing with stress—so don’t underestimate how much good sitting with your kitty or puppy for a few minutes can do. Click here to find out more on the therapeutic benefits of owning a pet.
2. Listen to your favourite song. We all have our favourite music for when we need to relax, or a boost of energy to get going. You know which songs put you in what mood, so turn on the stereo and listen to something calming to help you decompress for a bit, or pop in something upbeat to get you back into the groove of things.
3. Read for 10 minutes. Need to get your mind off your crazy schedule? Set a timer for 10 minutes and sit down with something to read. Whether it’s a novel you’re currently enthralled in, a magazine, or a self-help book, taking a few minutes to stop thinking about your hectic day and focusing your attention elsewhere will help you regain your composure.
4. Take some time to breathe. Breathing properly will help you relax and re-focus, so concentrate on your breathing pattern for a few minutes, inhaling through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth. Click here for more tips on breathing correctly.
5. Give yourself a short massage. Help your body relax by taking a few minutes to rub your neck, knead your arms, smooth your forehead, massage your scalp, pinch your eyebrows, etc. You can even use a ball to roll your feet over, or place it between your back and your chair for an easy back massage.
Combine one, two, or three of these suggestions every day to keep your stress level under control this holiday season; and remember, the holidays are a joyous time of the year you should be enjoying with friends and family, so don’t fret over details, and enjoy every minute of the celebrations.