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It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

Between cooking, cleaning, and entertaining guests, Christmas can hardly feel like the most wonderful time of year. It’s a mad dash from Black Friday to New Year’s Day to see who comes out clean on the other side. Stress is a natural part of the process, but how you manage it can mean the difference between missing the mark or coming out on top. Signs that you might be having a stress overload include headaches, high blood pressure, becoming easily agitated, and insomnia.

Here are 5 common scenarios people find themselves in over the holidays and how to successfully manage your stress this holiday season:

Putting up decorations

Christmas enthusiasts plan their decorations months in advance to ensure they are perfect. However, that does not mean everything will go up without a hitch. Always make sure you have multiple hands on deck to assist when needed. Having a helper will avoid injuries and get the job done faster. It is also smart to keep duplicates of Christmas decorations on hand. In the event something breaks, or a bulb goes out, you will have the exact match to continue your project.

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How to Stress Less: Avoid stress for years to come by properly storing your decorations. Something as simple as storing your lights on a winder can make unraveling them much easier year after year. Start decorating earlier so that you do not feel overwhelmed closer to Christmas time, just don’t cross that line and decorate before Thanksgiving!

Managing the crowds

Whether you are navigating an airport or a retail store, crowds are an unavoidable nuisance during the holiday season. When flying this time of year, try to identify when non-peak times will be so that you will not be bombarded while you are trying to get to your gate. This will help you stress less and save money for other holiday needs. If you plan on driving, map out all the major cities along your route and try to get through them at low traffic times.

How to Stress Less: When it comes to shopping, getting a majority of your items online gives you the ability to browse without having to fight through crowds and stand in long lines. Most retail stores offer the same discounts both in-store and online. There are also some coupon codes that are only available to online shoppers and can help you save a few bucks during checkout. If you do have to visit the retailer, go as soon as they open, or right before close, to bypass large crowds. Prep for your holiday dinner in the weeks leading up to the holiday to avoid gridlocks at the grocery store.

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Getting supper on the table

Feeding all of your friends and family may seem like a daunting task, but the right appliances can simplify cooking your holiday meal. You can make sure your meat is cooked to perfection with the Range cooking thermometer for your iPhone or iPad. Simply plug the Range into your headphone port and insert it into your meat or baked good. It sends instant updates on your food’s cooking progress so you never have worry about over- or under-cooking again.

How to Stress Less: Crock-Pot has recently come out with a “Smart” Slow Cooker powered by WeMo. It allows you to connect all the functions on your crockpot remotely through the WeMo app. This means that you can start, stop, and change the temperature on your slow cooker from virtually anywhere. For this function to work properly, it is important to have an internet provider that offers internet speeds over 15Mbps or you may risk your slow cooker disconnecting from the internet and not responding to your app when you need it. By switching to smart appliances, you will be able to be out and about running important holiday errands, wow your guests with amazing dishes, and have dinner on the table with no problems.

Finding the perfect presents

Not sure what present to get everyone this year or worried you might go over budget? Shopping for family and friends during the holidays, though paved with good intentions, can be a stress in and of itself. You might be clueless of what to give a new love interest in your life or frantic about how to give your parents something different from the gifts you gave them last year and the year before. Well stress no more because companies like Target and Amazon make holiday shopping a breeze.

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How to Stress Less: Both sites offer daily discounts for a wide variety of gift items. Download Target’s Cartwheel app to your smart device and save up to 50% on presents for friends and family. Amazon also has great deals starting on Black Friday and continuing throughout the rest of the year. You are able to filter by age, gender, department, and price to narrow your search, and with Amazon Prime you can continue to order all the way up till Christmas Eve to get your presents on time.

Entertaining 101

If you are hosting the holiday festivities at your house, it can be an extremely stressful couple of days leading up to everyone arriving. In order to prepare, it is important for you to take time to relax before all of the madness so that you feel refreshed. Make a to-do list and stick to it so you can spend less time trying to remember everything. It is important to begin preparing as early as possible so that you leave time for any errors.

How to Stress Less: Early preparation may consist of shopping, booking hotels and flights, decorating, and taking Christmas card photos. For the day of, you can create a Christmas playlist and light holiday-scented candles to make your house feel warm and inviting.

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Remember; it’s OK to stress out during the holidays. Just make sure you don’t let the holiday madness get to you!

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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Julie Knight

Content Writer

It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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