'Tis the season to be jolly and, for most of us, stressed! It’s hard to stay merry when you’ve got shopping lists on top of party lists on top of your normal work routine. And, that’s not even taking into the account the shorter sunlight hours and the bitter cold weather. Just in time, Shape gives us a few ideas on how to enjoy the usually hectic holidays sans headaches.
We’ve heard a thousand times about how seasonal affective disorder can disturb our mood due to lower amounts of sunlight, so try going for an outside run in the morning to soak up that early sunshine. According to a study in Environmental Science and Technology, sunlight — plus the positive effects of exercise — are bound to boost your mood levels.
On that note, ensure that in your busy holiday schedule that you’re making enough time for yourself to go for that run. Amit Sood, MD, and author of The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living, suggests denying an RSVP or two (which you should occasionally do to avoid holiday burnout) by sandwiching a negative between two positives. For example, tell your friend how you’d love to attend their party but that you’re not available that night, followed by suggesting to do something next month instead. Starting and ending with a positive note softens the blow of rejection that might hold you back from doing it in the first place. Now, get your you-time on and remember that the holidays are a time of enjoyment, not anxiety.