The holiday season is a busy, stressful time. And if you’re not careful, you can easily spread yourself too thin. Working, shopping, entertaining and caring for a family can take a toll on your mental and physical well-being. Plus, a hectic schedule can overstimulate your mind and prevent restful sleep at night.
Lack of proper sleep can also play a role in moodiness. And because inadequate rest weakens your immune system, you’re more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. Fortunately, there are simple and practical ways to get enough rest this holiday season.
1. Take a quick nap during the day
A 20 to 60-minute power nap in the afternoon can give your body a much needed recharge. Ideally, you want to take your nap before 4 p.m. to avoid interrupting your nightly sleep schedule. Understandably, some people have difficulty sleeping in the middle of the day. But there is a solution for this problem.
2. Schedule some alone time
Even if you don’t take a nap, it pays to schedule a little alone time this holiday season. If you’re visiting with family, constant activity and chattering can be mentally exhausting. You don’t have to spend every waking moment together. Take 30 minutes or an hour (or longer) and sit in your room with the door close. This gives you time to decompress and clear your mind.
3. Turn down invitations
With multiple friends and family members hosting different holiday parties, you might book every weekend in December. Although this is the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends, it can also tire you out. If you want to get through the holiday season energized and stress-free, don’t be afraid to turn down a few invitations. Notify the host in advance and perhaps send a quick thank you card for the invite.
4. Establish a nightly routine
A certain amount of stress will likely exist during the holiday season. Don’t let this stress keep you awake at night. Establish a nightly routine to encourage sound sleep throughout the night. For example, you might avoid caffeine and sugar after the evening hours, as well as watching television or surfing the web in bed. These ingredients and activities can stimulate your mind and disrupt sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night and engage in relaxing activities before bed (take a bath, drink hot tea or read a book).
Don’t let stress and tiredness cast a dark cloud over your holiday season. Know your limitations and listen to your body to get through your activities with ease.