Holiday Stress: Five Ways to De-stress during the Holiday Season
2020 has filled the lives of many with grief and isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way everyone has had to live. As the season changes and the holidays approach, managing additional stress may seem like climbing a towering mountain. However, recognizing the stress you are feeling is necessary to manage it.
Although this Thanksgiving and following winter holidays are unlike any other, taking the time and effort to de-stress is just as important. We at ITM recommend these five tips to deal with stress:
- Disconnect and unplug
The stress caused by social media is not unknown. Between news outlets and the personal stories of those on your feed, social media can take its toll on your mental health. As noted by Pew Research, frequent internet users are more aware of “stressful events” in the lives of others. Taking even just 10 minutes to unplug from social media can help you de-stress. Instead of online, those 10 minutes can be used productively or even just to get some rest.
Meditation is an activity that allows you to spend time focusing inward and channeling out negative stress. The few minutes of quiet meditation can be a quick and easy way to de-stress in the moment. Including yoga or your preferred method of prayer can also add to your meditative experience.
Exercise is undeniably an important part of taking care of your body. Even a brisk walk once a week can have a significant positive effect on your mental health and body. The endorphins released during exercise can be an immediate mood booster and help you take a mental break away from stress in your life.
- Change your immediate environment
The isolation and quarantining of COVID-19 have been difficult for many to adjust to. Despite the need to stay home, it is still possible to use a change in your immediate environment to de-stress. For example, instead of spending an entire day in your bedroom, you can spend some time moving in the kitchen or relaxing in the living room. Even sitting in your yard and taking some time alone can be a great way to de-stress, especially if you are home with extended family this holiday season.
- Find a creative outlet
The winter season is the perfect time to take up a new creative hobby or fall back into one. The outlet of keeping busy while doing something that is not mentally or physically strenuous is a wonderful way to de-stress. For some, it can be an affordable way to prepare for gift giving.
It’s necessary to take time in your day-to-day life to de-stress. While this year has not been kind to many, it does not mean you can’t be kind to yourself.