The holiday season is filled with plenty of great things -- sugar cookies, twinkly lights, ice skating and gifts. But there's also a lot to not love -- busy shopping malls, the pressure to host a perfect holiday party and family tension. It's easy to get caught up in the chaos of it all, leaving you tired and cranky by Dec. 26.
It doesn't have to be that way, though! If you take care of your needs, manage your stress and put your mental health first, you'll feel well-rested and happy all the way through the new year.
If you still can't pinpoint what's interfering with your sleep, get checked for sleep apnea. This sleep disorder can leave you feeling exhausted, and unless someone else witnesses the symptoms and tells you, it's hard to figure out on your own if you have it.
It's easy to get caught up in the madness of the holiday season. When your schedule is packed with too many year-end work deadlines, holiday parties and hectic trips to the mall to shop for gifts, it's no wonder we all feel kind of fried by the time we make it to the new year.
This year, actually manage your stress -- don't ignore it or pacify it with a few bourbon-spiked egg nogs. The next few slides will help you do just that.
This time of year, every mall, department store and Target is overrun with shoppers. Between navigating crowded stores, worrying about your budget and trying to beat someone to the last copy of Borderlands 3, you'll likely end your shopping trip feeling emotionally, mentally and physically depleted.
One of the best ways to come down from a hectic shopping trip is to meditate. Before you roll your eyes, give it a shot.
It can be as easy as taking 10 seconds to focus on your breathing, and slowing down each inhale and exhale. Or spend 60 seconds mentally scanning your body to see if any part of you feels tense or in pain. Do this as soon as you get back into your car, before battling the holiday traffic.
There's nothing quite like a crowded mall on a weekend in December that can make you irritable and tired. When you're done with shopping, try to get out into nature to recharge. It can lower your stress levels and clear your mind of anxious thoughts.
Take a walk through a park or, even better, try forest bathing. Even if it's freezing outside, try to get a little bit of fresh air to soothe your frazzled mind.
I will never, ever tell you to avoid all the delicious foods that make this holiday season worthwhile. If you love egg nog, cookies, hot cocoa, turkey and mashed potatoes, by all means, eat and enjoy them.
Just make sure you don't abandon healthy eating habits that nourish your body in the process. The next few slides will show you how.
It's 10 minutes after a big holiday meal and you've already changed into stretchy pants and are a few seconds away from passing out on the couch. A food coma has overcome you and now you feel exhausted or worse, sick.
Shorter, colder days can cause depression for people who feel okay other parts of the year, or make it worse for people who already have it. It's generally referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and doctors think it's caused by hormone imbalances in your brain, possibly because of the reduced sunlight during the winter.
If you feel down as the days get shorter, you might have SAD. You should talk to your doctor about ways to treat it -- usually a mix of eating healthy, exercising and getting a light therapy lamp.