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The Best Self-Care Tips During the Holidays

Scott Jones, LMHC and META Provider, shares valuable tips on how to keep stress at bay over the holidays!

  • Tip 1: Stick to your routines for sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Your mind and body love structure and consistency.
  • Tip 2: Maintain healthy sleep patterns. Keep your normal sleep and wake time through the holiday, even with extra days off. Lack of proper sleep can make you emotional and more susceptible to stress.
  • Tip 3: Balance your work and personal life. The holidays can be challenging with the usual stresses of the season, irregular work schedules, and a busy social calendar. Try not to lean too far one way or the other, and make time for quiet time to yourself.
  • Tip 4: Be conscious of what is and what is not in your control. You aren’t in charge of the choices and behaviors of other people, only your own actions. And in most cases, you can control only a small portion of your environment. Know which is which.
  • Tip 5: Think positive! Positive thoughts lead to positive speech and actions, which in turn reduces stress. Research states that we have over 50,000 thoughts per day, so if just 10% of those are negative, a person could have over 5,000 negative thoughts per day. Look for the positive in each situation. It sounds corny, but it works!
  • Tip 6: Smile. It takes 45 muscles to create a frown but only 17 to make a smile. More importantly, smiling releases dopamine and serotonin in the brain, sparking a feeling of happiness.

All these tips tie together: staying on a routine helps your sleep schedule, which in turn gives you the energy to balance your life, which helps you think more positively. The holidays are meant to be a chance to connect with others and reflect on the year past. Making your needs a priority will help you get the most out of this season.

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