It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so no wonder your anxiety levels may be increasing! There is a lot expected of us this time of year: holiday parties, cooking, hosting dinners, and buying gifts; It can all get overwhelming and start feeling like an impending anxiety attack instead of the holidays. With all of this increased stress comes a decrease in the time we take for ourselves, but self care is essential for getting us through, and more importantly, enjoying, the holiday cheer. Keep reading to learn how to maintain your chill, while still crossing everything off your holiday to-do list.
First thing first, check in with yourself. This is a season for gratitude and love, not stress and panic! Set some boundaries with yourself, and stick to them. For most of us, especially after the pandemic, socializing can be fun, but draining. Setting unnecessarily high standards to show up to every event can often result in a feeling of having to get everything “right”, and not giving yourself enough time to just be. Becoming aware of your feelings at this time can be incredibly liberating. Are you more introverted? Great! Plan a small hangout at home. Or, do you love being social? That’s also great! Make sure you plan and time manage so socializing can remain high on your priority list. These expectations will help set you up for the experience of the holidays, letting you let go of perfectionism and allowing yourself to become immersed in the fun.
Not sure where to go from here? Here are five ways to keep your calm during the chaos of the last few months of 2021:
- Stick to a schedule. A consistent routine is essential for decreasing stress. Try your best to keep your bedtime and wake up the same, aiming for 8 solid hours of sleep. Eat regularly, and at similar times. Pro tip: have a protein-based snack before a dinner party. This will help regulate your metabolism, making sure you don’t overstuff on more unhealthy foods and desserts. Using an old-fashioned calendar or planner can be helpful here; Planning out your workouts, eating, and rest time can ensure you get everything done.
- Keep the alcohol intake low. We know, festive drinks can make the holidays fun. However, alcohol is indeed a depressant, worsens sleep, and no one likes the next-day hangover. So, knowing your limits is important! Pick and choose which events you feel like drinking during, and try to minimize the alcohol intake at home.
- Meditation and breathwork are great additions to your everyday routine, and this goes especially for this time of year. It’s worth setting your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier to squeeze in a morning meditation, setting you up for a calm day. One of the reasons why meditation is so great is because it can be done at any time, anywhere. Taking 5 deep breaths while at your desk, commuting, or even in the shower can calm your fight or flight system, making you feel more at ease.
- Stay grateful! There are so many reasons to feel cheery during this time: a “fresh start” with the new year, the holiday decor lining the streets, and even Starbucks festive drinks (which have been amazing this year!), we can all find some gratitude in our daily lives. Try naming 10 things you’re grateful for right when you wake up in the morning. This can signal your brain to operate from a space of abundance, allowing you to find joy in everything you do during the day.
- When all else fails, hide. We know this sounds silly, but it can seriously work. We all have our social battery limits, and the holidays can surely press on them. The hustle and bustle of the season is no excuse to push yourself to exhaustion, just to attend every single party or cook a fancy dish. The holidays are a time for happiness! We guarantee you there will be ways to beat FOMO, like a relaxing self-care night in, and no one will care that you picked up a dish instead of cooking one from scratch!
All in all, the holidays are a wonderful time of year! If you’re feeling particularly anxious, try taking 2 Calm by Arrae capsules, and feel the anxiety melt away. Take a long, hot shower or go for a neighborhood walk with your favorite playlist on. And remember, you got this! Turn anxiety and stress into gratitude and relaxation, especially after the year we’ve had. Arrae wishes you all a happy, healthy, and stress-free holiday season!