Holidays, though meant to be a wonderful time spent with family and friends, often produce more stress than joy. To help you through the next few months, here are some simple tips to improve your mood instantly when the pressure of the holidays is getting to you.
1. Smile - You would be surprised how quickly a "fake" smile can turn into a genuine one.
2. Go for a walk - Remove yourself from the stressful situation. You'll find clarity and compassion when there's bit of distance between you and the source of your woes.
3. Laugh out loud - Laughing is an instant mood-booster. Recruit your favorite movie, TV show or youtube video for help!
4. Let it out - Sometimes we keep too much bottled up inside. Take some time for yourself away from everyone else and cry, scream or just breath. You'll feel better afterwards...I promise.
5. Breath deeply - Slowing your breath can make you feel so much more calm and grounded. Breath slowly in through your nose, hold the breath in your lungs briefly and then exhale slowly through your mouth. It works like a charm.
6. Read a good book - Reading is such a pleasurable activity and one that we often don't make time for. Giving yourself a few minutes each day to indulge in your favorite magazine, catch-up with the paper, or read a chapter in your current bedside book is a great way to recharge your batteries.
7. Meditate - You don't have to really meditate, but at least give yourself 10 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. You deserve it!
8. Take a power nap - The holidays unfortunately can take a lot out of us. When you're running on empty take a quick nap. You'll wake up feeling refreshed and replenished.
9. Listen to your favorite song - When you're feeling stressed or burnt out, turn to your favorite CD or song for some help. Whether you put on your favorite bluesy chill-out CD or your upbeat pop favorite to boost your mood, it's guaranteed to give you a few moments of "me-time".
10. Think happy thoughts - Make a mental list of all that you're truly grateful for, picture your favorite vacation spot, or envision a moment when you felt particularly happy. You can only hold one thought in your head at a time!
Lastly, make sure you take some time for yourself! During the holidays we give so much of ourselves to everyone else, be certain to make time for your needs as well. Take a bath, drink a cup of tea, or just take a moment to sit and relax.