At this time of year, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of activities, excitement of holiday prep and pressure of end-of-year work deadlines and commitments. Thus, it becomes even more vital for your health and well-being to slow down, take breaks and find some “me time.” Avoid burning the candle at both ends with the help of these tips.
Take a “break” before your day gets underway. If you feel like your whole day is spent on work or chores, try getting up a little earlier to do something for yourself. Wake up an hour earlier to work out or take a walk, meditate, make a healthy breakfast, journal, or any other activity that you find restorative.
Exercise as a release. You’ve likely heard this many times before, but exercising and moving more can really help improve your mood, energy levels and sleep quality!
Need a quick pick-me-up? Spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing. Close your eyes and focus your attention to each slow inhalation and exhalation. Let any anxious thoughts just drift like passing clouds.
Make sure to take your breaks and go on lunch. Step away to refresh yourself and prevent burnout. Avoid taking breaks and eating lunch at your desk or while you’re working.
Take real time off from work. Even a half day spent doing something restorative can help you reset.
Try something new. Winter is a great time to experiment with a new hobby or activity that can help you break out of a rut and feel like you’re doing something for yourself. Find a craft or art project, try cooking new-to-you cuisine, or listening to new music.
If your go-to break when you’ve finished a work or home task is to scroll through your phone or turn on the TV, trade it for stepping outside. Developing the “nature break habit” has many proven benefits for better health and well-being.
Do nothing! Sit on your couch and look out the window, spend a few minutes enjoying your outdoor space, or lie on your bed and practice deep breathing—there are countless options. Try dedicating 10 minutes at the end of your day to taking a break to see if you notice a difference in your mood.
Take time to unplug. Spend time free from technology and screens by simply savoring a quiet moment with your eyes closed. Take it even further by creating tech-free zones in your house. Pick a drawer or other out-of-sight place to stash your devices, and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Cuddle with your spouse, kids or pet. Whether it’s people or pets, physical interactions with those you love can release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone!
Taking time each day to do simple activities that calm your body and mind is a powerful way to short-circuit stress, restore a sense of well-being and protect your health!