Many people find the holidays a difficult time. Despair and depression affect many people. Loneliness and isolation darkens an increasing number of homes each year. The recession, upside down home prices to mortgages, uncertain job outlooks cause millions to worry and despair. Our government gridlock rushing from one looming shutdown to another impasse.
In addition, certain industries or occupations experience more stress at years’ end than others:
- Retailers obviously experience challenges, pressures, and long days during the holiday season. They do a huge portion of their annual sales in six weeks.
- Accountants close out corporate books and prepare for four months of tax season.
- Airline, hotel, & restaurant workers host large number of guests during the holidays
- UPS, FedEx, and postal workers work more hours and must push more packages
- Mental health counselors and therapists cope with an increase of cases and crisis
These represent a small portion of the people who experience added stress during the holidays. Many others carry stress that spills over from the rest of the year. Continual stress saps your energy. In other words, most Americans arrive at the holiday season drained, tried, and worn out.
Engage in Relaxing Activities
The holidays also provide an excellent time to rejuvenate and renew your energies. The proximity of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day allow salaried workers to leverage 3 vacation days into 9. Try doing some of these activities to reduce your stress, increase serenity, and energize your cells:
- Just sit in front of your Christmas tree with the tree lights on and others off
- Take walks in the peaceful times of day (bundle up if its cold, protect nasal passages)
- Take quiet, hot bathes, close your eyes, and imagine your are in a tropical lagoon
- Listen to soothing music in the dark at the end of long day
- Buy or check a meditation or yoga download or DVD and practice it each evening
- Wish 10 people a day a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza or holiday
- Read a good book sitting in front of a Christmas tree, fireplace, or soft light
- Make a list of all the good things in your life
- Serve a meal at a homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter or for neighbor in need
- Check into an inexpensive hotel with a pool or hot tub and free breakfast and relax
- Take a cruise or vacation to a tropical location
I hope you find a way to rejuvenate your life and recharge your soul.
Join me Monday when I rejoin our series on leadership with more on Jim Collins Good to Great