Saturday, November 28, 2015

Finding Peace & Quiet in the Hustle and Bustle of the Holiday Season

Carols.... parties.... shopping.... parades.... traffic.... airports.... 
Noise is abundant in the holiday season....
Some noise is pleasant, some makes us wish we could turn the volume down.

Today I am sharing five tips that I've implemented this holiday season to give some peace and quiet, even in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
1.  Create a peaceful retreat.  My "spot" is in my bedroom.  I've created a very serene space where I can go, shut the door, and relax.  Even though your home may be filled to the brim with guests, if you find yourself anxious and needing a break, retreat to your space.  Even if you only hide away for a few minutes, it will often help you de-stress.

2.  Tuck Ear Buds in Your Bag.  Most smart phones come with a space to connect ear buds.  In the super market and trying to find everything on your list, while being serenaded by screaming kiddos and grumpy folks?  Tune them out by putting in ear buds and playing a calming station on Pandora.  Don't have a smart phone?  Take along your iPod or other listening device.  Scared you are going to tune out things you need to hear?  Only put in one bud.  You'll be able to sift through the white noise of the supermarket, but also hear your calming tunes!

3.  Exercise.  Exercise boosts endorphins ("endogenous morphine"), which are natural pain and stress fighters.  I know it is hard to carve out time to exercise, but it is definitely worth the hassle.  Whether it be a quick walk around the block, or a trip to the gym, you will be thankful you incorporated exercise into your holiday routine (and, you're getting a jump start on your New Year resolution).  We have a fabulous walking park in our town..... it is great to take your little ones to, dogs included!  They have lighted Christmas structures sprinkled throughout the park, and a Christmas train that makes its rounds during the evening hours.  It is magical.  It certainly gets me into a happy mood!

4.  Learn to say, "NO".  This is something I am working on.  You'll find that people love to delegate their stressful obligations to anyone who is willing to take them on during the holidays.  If you do not learn to stand your ground and say no, you'll find your list is impossible to complete.  Make sure that you don't overextend yourself to the point that you sacrifice your happiness for petty tasks.

5.  Plan Ahead.  Procrastination is one of the biggest holiday bummers there is.  Completing your shopping tasks, preparing foods, etc., ahead is a great way to ensure that the days surrounding Christmas are not hectic.  Freeze meals, wrap presents, send out cards, etc., before things are crazy, and you'll be able to move at a slower pace and enjoy your holiday!

I hope these tips help you enjoy your holiday season and de-stress!
-Heather

3 comments:

  1. These are such smart ideas. I'm going to try really hard to continue exercising. My girlfriend and I go to Zumba on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. It's so much fun. :)

    Saying no is super important too. Also...a little alone time.

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  2. All are such great tips. You know my house was filled with guests on Thanksgiving and I did exactly one of the things you mentioned. I went up to my bedroom and laid down for about 10 minutes. No one missed me and I was able to come back refreshed and de-stressed

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