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The holiday season is upon us and can be a different experience for every individual. It can be a time that is fun and full of celebrations, but can also be a more stressful and exhausting period. Learning to control inner experience will improve your quality of life, and the experience of feeling more happy. The path to feeling fulfilled and healthy is by sticking to practices that will not bring you down or encourage your stress levels to sky-rocket. These are:
- Pre-prioritise – it is important to plan and prioritise what you want to do, who you want to see, and what to attend, to create the best memories and have the most fun. Schedule what is most important to you so you do not miss out and you are looking forward to it.
- Sugar & processed food binges – this will lead to more cravings, which leads to energy crashes, higher stress, and insulin levels. These types of food weigh you down and you will not be kicking off or enjoying the holidays with your best self. By feeling guilty and saying you will go on a diet in the new year only increases your intake which will make you feel even worse.
- Playing sleep catch-up – this practice isn’t enough to repay the sleep debt. You will see the world in a more negative way, reacting negatively when something doesn’t go your way. Possibly not someone that people may like to hang out with. Sleep loss is also associated with feeling more depressed. Getting a good rest, recuperating, and sleeping seven to nine hours a night will improve your mood, weight, stress levels, and energise your day.
- Avoid coffee – it can cause you to feel “on edge,” irritable, and anxious. We usually drink coffee to stay awake. By avoiding sugary food and drinks, and getting good rest, you will not be weighed down and tired, therefore, you will not need a caffeine shot.
- Self-care – simple techniques such as breathing, positive psychology, practicing gratitude, and connecting with people who care about you can all reduce the physiological impact of stress on your body. Avoid social media as much as you can, as this can dampen your spirit. During your down time reminisce about past special events, memories, music, books, singing, and so forth, to boost your mood, energy, and feeling refreshed.