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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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