The holidays are mostly over and 2015 is just around the corner. I know the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year” and it is really celebratory, but part of me feels worn out and exhausted. Everyone spends so much time and effort in a pressured peppermint frenzy preparing for the day of that it feels like nobody stops to take a minute and breathe. To top that, this year Christmas at my house was cancelled because so many of my family were sick with the flu and the week was a blur of hand sanitizer, laundry, and Lysol spray. I need a holiday from my holiday. Holidays are cool, but holidays are also stressful. And it sort of makes me want to punch some of those eternally cheerful sparkling elves in the face…..
|Common effects of stress …|
|… On your body||… On your mood||… On your behavior|
I hate new year’s resolutions because it seems like setting yourself up to fail. I do like minor lifestyle changes that turn into major lifestyle changes. I’m resolving to do little things instead.
Mayo Clinic has tons of stress advice so I chose suggestions that seemed feasible for a normal person. Let me know what works for you!
- Saying no isn’t necessarily selfish. When you say no to a new commitment, you’re honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you’ll be able to devote high-quality time to them.
- Saying no can allow you to try new things. Just because you’ve always helped plan the company softball tournament doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. Saying no gives you time to pursue other interests.
- Always saying yes isn’t healthy. When you’re overcommitted and under too much stress, you’re more likely to feel run-down and possibly get sick.
- Saying yes can cut others out. On the other hand, when you say no, you open the door for others to step up. They may not do things the way you would, but that’s OK. They’ll find their own way.
- Find ways to relax. A warm bath before bedtime can help prepare you for sleep. Having your partner give you a massage also may help relax you. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as reading, soft music, breathing exercises, yoga or prayer.
- Make the bed comfortable. Having a comfortable pillow and mattress can help promote a good night’s sleep. In general, latex, contour foam and polyester pillows perform better than feather or regular foam pillows, but the choice comes down to your personal preference. Similarly, the choice of a firm or soft mattress is largely a matter of individual preference. You may need to experiment to find what works for you.
- Create a sleep-friendly space. Close your bedroom door or create a subtle background noise, such as a running fan, to help drown out other noises. Keep your bedroom temperature comfortable, usually cooler than during the day and dark. Don’t keep a computer or TV in your bedroom.
- Hide the clocks. Set your alarm so that you know when to get up, but then hide all clocks in your bedroom, including your wristwatch and cellphone. You’ll sleep better if the clocks are out of view.
- Get out of bed if you’re not sleeping. Sleep as much as needed to feel rested, and then get out of bed. The bedroom should be used for sleep and intimacy. So, if you can’t sleep, get out of bed after 20 minutes and do something relaxing, such as reading, rather than lying in bed and getting frustrated about your wakefulness.
Types of relaxation techniques