Taking some time for yourself can do wonders for easing holiday stress.
"Are you all set for the holidays?"
I've been asked this question three times this week — a classic example of festive chitchat in the United Kingdom. The short answer? No.
With fewer than 4 weeks to go, I've purchased a total of three gifts, including one box of candy that will undoubtedly be opened prior to its intended date of consumption and will need to be replaced.
There was once a time when I would have become stressed if I had failed to purchase and wrap all my gifts by the first week of December. Simply the thought of the abundance of social events I'd need to attend would have made me anxious.
In recent years, however, I've learned to better deal with the stresses that accompany the festive season. My tips include going for a stroll or taking 5 minutes of "me time" to listen to a favorite song or treat myself to some cocoa.
Earlier this month, Medical News Today explored some stress-busting strategies in an article that reveals seven ways to protect mental well-being during the holidays.
My personal favorite? "Don't be afraid to say no." I can vouch for this one. These days, I attend social events that I want to attend, and my mental well-being (and wallet) are much better off for it.
I asked the MNT team what they do to alleviate holiday stress.
"It helps to identify the aspects of the holiday season that I enjoy the most and to focus on those," one news writer commented.
"I try to carry on exercising, as it's good thinking and head-clearing time for me, and it makes me feel better," said one of our copy editors, who added, "It's really easy to let that slide over the holidays!"
"I watch 'Die Hard' to get in the festive mood and relax," said our production coordinator, opening up the great office debate as to whether "Die Hard" is really a holiday movie.
Do you have any tips for protecting your mental well-being this festive season? Get in touch! We'd love to hear them.
Speaking of health topics, which articles caught your eye this month? You were interested in learning what exercises can help to increase lung capacity, as well as the benefits of soaking your feet in vinegar.
You also wanted to discover the best foods for increasing low testosterone and whether blue waffle disease is a real medical condition.
As for our news content this November, brain health was a popular topic. You were interested in our coverage of new research that suggests that a low-protein, high-carb diet may benefit the brain.
You'll hear more from me and the rest of the MNT team next month.
Until then, I'll leave you with this quote, which may prompt you to take some time out when holiday stress strikes:
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
We wish you a joyful and healthful December!
Honor Whiteman, Managing Editor