Travel, house guests, rich food, holiday parties, and increased spending are all part of the holiday season. And while some of the holiday season is looked to with anticipation (hello, holiday cocktails), other parts can create dread (hello, in-laws). However, even the highly anticipated parts of the holidays can cause stress to affect your body, which can in-turn affect your sleep. Here are some tips on how to manage stress this holiday season and give yourself the gift of great sleep.
Make a list, check it twice
As cliché as it sounds, making a to-do list of all that needs to be accomplished will not only help you remember all that needs to be done, but it will keep you focused. From buying gifts to your grocery list to what to pack to head to Grandma’s, a list will help take a little bit of stress out of planning. Really step up your list-making game and make it shareable with the necessary people through apps on your smartphone.
All the comforts of home
When you’re traveling, it’s sometimes hard to truly get your best night’s sleep, especially in an unfamiliar place. If your mode of travel and size of suitcase allows, try bringing familiar items with you, like a pillow or blanket. Even just a familiar scent can help you catch some much needed zzz’s while on the road.
Make a budget
A financial budget is important any time of year, but especially when there’s a tendency to go overboard on “stuff” for loved ones. Sticking to your budget will help alleviate some of the financial strain in January as well. Make sure to also make a time budget, or in other words, decide how much time you’re going to spend on certain activities this holiday. Set a time cap for how long you will spend shopping or how long you’ll stay at Aunt Mildred’s house if you know that you need to make time for other things.
Learn to say no
This tip extends itself to so many aspects of the holiday season. For one, don’t over-commit yourself in the month of December. It’s very easy to do as it seems that there is an event, party, or Santa to see every day. Work within your time budget, and know it’s okay to say “no”.
Saying no also applies to food and alcohol intake. Holiday weight gain happens to the best of us, but moderation is key to ensure you’re not over-doing it. Same goes for alcohol consumption. It’s tempting to have just one more, but even two drinks in a night can have negative effects on your sleep. As always, though, make sure you have a safe ride home when you’re planning on drinking any amount of alcohol any time of the year.
A little bit of planning will go a long way to lower your stress level this month, and also help to make this holiday season your most restful yet.