How to… Relax at Christmas time
Christmas is here and whilst we LOVE it… it can be a manic time of year! Stay sane with our Christmas survival guide.
Even the last-minute shopping, family overload and excessive food intake won’t phase you after reading this!
The hectic holiday season can be exhausting, especially if you’re new to a role, studying, or still looking for the right job. You’ve bought all your presents, already eaten about a million mince pies, drank roughly a gallon of mulled wine and probably partied till your eyes will no longer stay open! What next… Go home? Go on holiday? Stay with friends? Whatever it is you’re doing, it’s a pretty sure bet that it will involve more of the above. So… amongst the celebrations, how are you going to relax?!
Don’t panic… we have got this covered 🙂
Here are our tips for channelling your inner Zen and making the most of your time off.
Take a pause to ‘be in the moment’ and give Mindfulness a go.
This might not seem like your type of thing, but give it a chance… Mindfulness is a mind-body approach that uses meditation techniques to focus your attention on the present moment. You can do it anywhere you like, for however long you like. It can positively change the way you think, so you can manage challenging situations rather than feel overwhelmed by them. It is a great way to reduce stress. You can practice now and if it works for you, try introducing it to your routine. Find out more
Most of us don’t regularly hit the gym in December and that’s OK (we can’t be perfect!), although exercise is a really great way to de-stress and clear your head. To keep active you could do something fun like going for a brisk winters walk with family or friends. There’s evidence that nature can leave you feeling calmer and more positive. So take a walk, or just get out and enjoy your natural surroundings – get a group of friends together in a park and play a game of 5-a-side football? If you fancy something a bit more exhilarating… Go ‘Zorbing’ (Virgin do an experience for 2 – Find out more) or get yourself a hover board…
Have a lie in!
Is there anything better than a good night’s sleep? Nope, don’t think so… Sleep plays a vital role in psychological and physical wellbeing, when you’re busy with a million and one things, its not always possible to get it. Turn your lights off and don’t set the alarm! Get the sort of sleep that you dream of most mornings. A good night’s sleep helps calm the mind.
Switch on and switch off!
We all love cheesy Christmas films (well… most of us anyway) so why not get into your PJ’s and spend a couple of hours watching your favourite film. Or, get into a good series that you haven’t had time to watch. Watching a film, or a TV show can be a great way to switch off for a while and focus on something that has nothing to do with what’s going on in your life at that moment (Netflix bingers be warned: ‘The Crown’ and ‘Dead to Me’ are addictive). For anyone who really lacks time – this is an ideal time to wrap presents!
Read a book
Get outside of your head.
Reading a book is arguably more relaxing than watching something. You have to really focus your mind and concentrate on reading, more so than listening to music or watching a film. The distraction of being taken into a literary world can massively reduce the feeling of stress. It can also help if you are struggling to sleep. Unlike staring at a screen, which emits blue light (keeping you awake by suppressing melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone), reading can help you to naturally feel tired. Bill Gates is a very busy man, but makes time to read. See his favourite 5 books of 2016.
Tackle a task
Beat your To Do list!
Sorting out your ‘life admin’ may not be the first thing on your agenda over Christmas, but it can be pretty therapeutic to get something sorted that’s been niggling at you for a while. Get stuck into something you haven’t had time to do. This could be something as simple as sorting out your iTunes library, or your wardrobe! Or, a more everyday task like budgeting (if you’re not doing this – maybe use this time to experiment with how you could set yourself a budget). Whatever you choose… a tick on your to-do list always feels good.
Finally, some obvious things to avoid…
Boxing Day sales… H E L P!
Heated family debates after one too many…
On a serious note… try not to commit to doing too much and say no if you don’t feel like it – that last party invite that’s going to push you over the edge – it’s OK to politely decline and have a night in. When you’re socialising, alcohol often comes hand-in-hand, so have fun with friends, but be sensible and try not to drink excessively.
Most importantly, relax, re-fuel and reflect on the year ahead.
Merry Christmas! Seasons Greetings! Happy Holidays!
From the HelloGrads Team 🙂