This time of year is stressful for many people. There’s lists to be checked, presents to be bought, meals to be cooked, and on top of everything remains the daily tasks to keep life moving forward. Your mental health can quickly decline if you aren’t mindful of all of the factors at play. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to safeguard your mental health and tackle the holiday rush.
Get Restful Sleep
First and foremost, cars can’t run without fuel and your body is no different. Just like those toys under the tree, you need to recharge your batteries in order to power through your day. Make sure you set aside at least eight hours per night in order to get restful sleep. This allows you to enter the REM stage of sleep where your mind and body can both repair and recharge, which not only gives you energy but also helps combat illnesses.
An aching sense of dread or overwhelming to-do lists can easily be mitigated by delegating tasks. If you’re planning a holiday meal, assign others to prepare side dishes or desserts (even the members of your household if you’re social distancing entirely from others). You can also prepare dishes ahead of time and freeze them. Assign household chores and enlist older teens or your spouse to handle grocery shopping or regular nightly dinner prep.
Don’t Over Indulge
Holiday festivities are packed full of yummy treats. While these things might taste good and feel good in the moment, they can wreak havoc on your body the next day. After all, you can have too much of a good thing! Partake in the festivities but remember to have everything in moderation.
Even though we may be social distancing this year, there are still virtual parties and outdoor events to attend. Remember that it’s okay to set boundaries – you can’t do everything. Set timeframes in advance so that you aren’t overbooking events or stretching yourself too thin. It’s always okay to decline an invite or say no.
Perform Acts of Kindness
Kindness is contagious. In fact, studies have shown that acts of kindness can actually improve your mental health. Spreading holiday cheer has benefits that are two fold so try to do something every day that makes someone smile. You’ll both feel great!