At the beginning of the holidays, are you the person who swears it will be better this year? Less stress, less anxiety, more time spent with family and doing the things you love? It’s easy to get caught up trying to make the holidays as magical as possible for everyone else, but your emotional and physical health end up on the back burner.
When people think of habits and holidays, New Year resolutions will probably come to mind and so do the typical challenges: quit smoking, go to the gym, start running again, etc.
You don’t need to wait for New Years to start building or breaking habits, so here’s a list of some habits to break that might ease some holiday stress from your life.
The number one thing I struggle with and I see many others struggle with this time of year is perfectionism. The vast majority of us are not Martha Stewart and that’s okay! We are allowed to aim for a “good” holiday instead of the “perfect” holiday. By keeping realistic expectations and not worrying about every minor detail, you free up a lot of mental and emotional energy that can be better spent on the things that really matter to you.
2. Not asking for help
If you are overwhelmed or feel like there’s just too much going on, it’s okay to ask for help! The holidays can be an extremely difficult time if you’re feeling out of sorts, professional help can be extremely helpful! I look at physical and mental health very similarly – if you go to the doctor or dentist every 6 to 12 months to make sure you’re in tip-top shape… why wouldn’t you do the same for your mental health?
3. Comparing yourself to others
Now that social media is so prevalent in our lives it’s easy to compare ourselves to our friends, families, and even strangers from halfway across the world. Comparing yourself with others is a recipe for disaster, as someone will always be better than you at something. It's important to remember while you can be anything, you cannot be everything. The only person you should compare yourself to is yourself. Where were you a year ago, 5 years ago, or even 10? Recognize how your life has changed for the better or worse and use that as a stepping-off point for what’s next.
4. Too much screen time?
Do you like to spend your free time scrolling social media? Is The Office playing on Netflix 24/7 in your house? All of that screen time can add up pretty quickly, but when was the last time you calculated how long you’re on your phone or computer, or watching TV? I calculated my screen time for the past week and I can honestly say it’s pretty embarrassing! Not to say Netflix or social media are bad or you shouldn’t use them, but if you’re like me, maybe this is the perfect time to swap some of that time out for a new activity or hobby!
5. Lack of self-care
Self-care is so important but so incredibly neglected! Self-care actions can vary widely from person to person but are anything that promotes mental and physical health and wellness.
These are only 5 habits but they can make a big difference in your life and stress levels. When building a habit, you shouldn’t expect to fail, but you should plan for failure. You will mess up, and there will be hard days. Plan a way to get back on track because consistency is key, not perfection!
Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash