The holidays are the busiest times of the year. Between gift shopping, home decorating, parties, trips, and family time, it can seem almost impossible to keep your life on track. That’s when you need a solid routine to give you structure, balance, and peace of mind while keeping your family and home life running smoothly.
Below, we bring you five tips to help you build better habits over the holidays and beyond.
A good night’s sleep is essential for proper rest, a balanced mood, weight control, reduced stress and warding off a plethora of other health problems.
But with travel, family gatherings, cocktail parties, and more, what can you do to keep your sleep on track? Here are a few ideas:
Have a consistent bedtime and waketime
Figure out when you’d like to wake up, then work backward and pick a bedtime that allows for seven to eight hours of sleep. Stick to these times as much as possible.
Wind down properly
All the holiday excitement can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Avoid taking part in stimulating activities 2 hours before bed.
Try to give yourself at least an hour of relaxation time with a calming ritual like taking a warm bath, reading a good book, listening to music, etc. Don’t use any kind of digital technology as it blocks the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, which delays sleepiness.
Avoid alcohol or caffeine before bed
While there is nothing wrong with celebrating with a glass of champagne or appletini, it’s worth noting that alcohol canreduce REM sleep and cause sleep disruptions, with the end result being that you wake up feeling less refreshed.
To ensure your holiday cocktails don’t mess with your sleep, try to limit the number of drinks you enjoy during the evening hours, and allow at a minimum of three hours between your last drink and the time you go to bed. The same goes for caffeine - experts suggest setting your caffeine cutoff at 2 or 3 p.m.
Indulging in sweet treats and savory bites comes with the holiday spirit. But give your body time to digest so it won’t hinder your sleep. Try not to eat to the point of feeling excessively full, and avoid fatty foods that cause you stomach pain, gas, or indigestion.
Maintain Your Morning Routine
The perfect morning routine will promote wellness and ensure that you don’t fall out of your everyday rhythm this season.
Start the day with an activity that makes you feel calm and energized. Exercising, reading a few pages of your favorite book, journaling, and practicing daily affirmations are all positive habits that can lift your mood and bring a sense of calm during the holiday season.
Take care of your mental health
Holiday stress is natural. But it’s easy to feel burned out you’re struggling to meet peoples’ expectations or have countless things to do. One of the biggest ways to protect your mental health during the holiday season is to set healthy boundaries with yourself and others. Don’t take on too much or spend beyond your budget. Speak up for yourself if a boundary of yours is crossed, and don’t be afraid to turn down events you’re not eager to attend. What’s more, practice self-care by journaling, walking, meditating, or any other habits that keep you grounded and connected with yourself.
Incorporate sustainable habits
Even the most eco-conscious among us can lose our minds during the holidays. But if you incorporate eco-friendly habits into your routine, you can enjoy a sustainable holiday season. You’ll save some money and have peace of mind knowing your holiday festivities are not harming the planet.
Try these tips to have an eco-friendly holiday.
Shop responsibly. Buy from socially and environmentally responsible brands, preferably in your local area, to reduce travel emissions and unnecessary packaging.
Bring your own reusable tote bag when shopping.
Save energy by using Energy Star-qualified LED lighting instead of traditional Christmas lights.
Unplug unnecessary electronics when you travel.
Keep your air travel to a minimum and purchase carbon offsets if you have to fly.
Avoid single-use plastic cutlery, gift wrapping, and decorations, and opt for reusable or biodegradable alternatives.
Freeze, repurpose, or donate leftovers to avoid food waste.
Reconnect with nature. Hit the trail, see the stars or have an experience with animals to develop the connection you have with the natural world.
The holiday season is packed with activities and responsibilities, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed. A good routine can be the anchor that keeps you sane and healthy amid the holiday chaos, so you can focus on what really matters, which is spending time with loved ones, relaxing, and having fun!