Whether you are ready for it or not, the holiday season is underway. Family visits, holiday shopping, unplugging from work—these are just a few of the demands that offer us less than relaxing thoughts. But it’s of particular importance that we remember to take care of ourselves—both physically and mentally—and believe it or not, the best time to do so is over the holiday break!
Mark Your Calendar
Chronic stress takes a toll on us, and job-related stress is one of the major contributors. Facing tight deadlines, making crucial decisions, even being under- or unemployed tires us, which in turn makes us vulnerable to illness or injury. Switching off from the office for a few days (and, indeed, most any daily routine) has lots of benefits. Clearing your calendar and closing the door to the stack of work on your desk is possible. We can all do it without guilt. The key is to plan your time off carefully so that while you’re away you are not continually thinking about it.
In a 2009 study, Canadian researchers Joudrey and Wallace reported that taking vacations helped to buffer job stress among a representation of almost 900 lawyers. The British researcher Scott McCabe also wrote that the personal benefits of vacations include the broadening of horizons, promotion of peace and understanding, personal development and subjective “well-being.” So mark your calendar and schedule in some R&R.
Be of Service = self-care
Believe it or not, when you stop focusing on yourself, you are taking care of yourself. ‘Tis the season for giving and for spreading cheer and good tidings. Participating in a toy drive, a food drive or any another charitable event over the holidays is always a moral booster.
And “being of service” also includes gift giving. Commercialism aside, thoughtful, homemade gifts are a pleasure (and treasure) to both the giver and the receiver.
Doubling Your Efforts
The benefits of vacations are plenty, but when yours is smack dab in the middle of a thousand holiday shoppers occupying the stores and holding up traffic, well then it’s easy for those benefits to become a little lost or fuzzy. It is suggested you make a point of doubling up on your efforts for self-care and relaxation. Keep up with your exercise routine and yoga classes. Continuing to do the usual suspects that make us feel good about ourselves will help us relax and enjoy our time off.
Holidays are a celebrated time to spend with family and friends. Don’t let the modern day stigma of taking time off from work ruin your time with your family. Sleep in, take a media break, add beetroots and asparagus to your diet (yes, they help flush toxins from the body), and sing your favorite carols while you’re standing in the checkout line. Better yet, sing those carols at the local shelter and experience what it does for your soul!
Connect with purpose and in private with your family and friends without the high stress drama of typical social media, on GetAssist. Join communities dedicated to service in your area to learn how you can give back, or find support in your quest for peace in communities focused on meditation.