Real talk… blogging takes time. No matter how much we love diving deep into our life’s passions, there’s no denying that being a blogger requires time, attention, and whole lotta coffee! And for many of us, blogging is our side hustle on top of a full-time job and many other life obligations. This may be “normal” in the life of a blogger, but that means that come holiday season we may be feeling even more stretched and stressed with all the extras thrown at our schedules. As a registered dietitian nutritionist and lifestyle coach, I share with my clients that dealing with your holiday stress is important because stress affects our mood and relationships, not to mention, stress can lead to a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and chronic aches and pains. But no need to freak! Here are 8 ways you can stress less, stay sane, and still be a boss blogger during the holidays.
(1) Don’t stuff your schedule. Leave the stuffing on the dinner table. Instead, drop activities that drain your time and energy this time of year, especially if you don’t enjoy them. Give yourself permission to say “no” to non-essential engagements so you can slow down and really enjoy the holiday season. The truth is, every time you say yes to something, you’re also saying no to something else. Prioritizing what you really want (and need) in life requires a firm (but considerate) “no” from time to time.
(2) Delegate your to-do’s. You don’t ask for help because you are weak, but because you want to remain strong. Try outsourcing time-consuming tasks, for example, online grocery shop for the week or enlist the assistance of your boo to help fold the laundry. These small moments can add minutes back into your day and week!
(3) Take a 10-minute timeout. Timeouts aren’t only for bad children; they can work wonders for adults too! And believe it or not, most people don’t take the breaks they’re given in their work day. Whether you go into an office or hustle from home, taking breaks can actually help you be more productive. The “best” break is less about time and more about your ability to separate yourself from your work thoughts. So whether you’re taking a stretch break from sitting at your desk or tuning in to your personal playlist while walking, making intentional timeouts for yourself can actually increase your productivity and creativity. Because we’re not robots, taking breaks from work really allows us an opportunity to refocus and recharge in order to tackle our next task.
(4) Breathe deeply. Your breath is an easily accessible tool to help decrease your stress and any anxious feelings the holiday season might bring. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, pause for a deep breath (one that fills all of your lungs) and exhale completely. (You might even try this 1-minute breathing exercise.) You’ll feel refreshed in matter of seconds!
(5) Do something YOU enjoy. During a time of year when we’re always thinking of others, don’t forget about yourself! Your personal health and well-being is essential in order for you to be the best for others so be sure to take time for yourself. It can be as simple as a turning your phone to airplane mode for some quality quiet time or catching up with a blogger bud.
(6) Move more. The new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans assures us that something is better than nothing when it comes to movement. And there are undeniable benefits to keeping up your activity during the holidays – reduced anxiety and depression, improved sleep, better blood pressure control, and help staying at a healthy weight. Stay active this holiday season by catching up with friends and family over festive activities, like hanging holiday décor, walking to admire holiday lights, or even going ice skating!
(7) Catch more zzz’s. I know it’s tempting to start the endless scroll of social media as soon as you’re in bed, but it may be really interfering with the sleep your body needs to fully rest and rejuvenate before the next day. Set some boundaries for yourself for better sleep and prioritize getting the sleep you need, whether that’s six hours or nine. You’ll feel the effects of a better night’s sleep immediately! (I’m a huge fan of the iPhone’s “Bedtime” feature in the Clock app, as it can help keep you on a regular sleep schedule with friendly reminders and peaceful alarms that won’t jar you awake.)
(8) Keep things in perspective. When problems arise it often feels like it’s the end of the world. But inevitably it’s not when we take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Try talking back to any negative thoughts that might arise and focus on what you can do and control. Practice this whenever needed!
During this holiday season bloggers, try to catch your stress early by listening to the signs and symptoms your body is telling you. Give yourself grace this time of year and remember that things don’t have to be perfect to be memorable.
LINDSEY JOE, RDN, LDN
Lindsey is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from Nashville, TN. She graduated from the Dietetic Internship program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and prior to this, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a weight management expert, meal planning master, and TN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nashville Media spokesperson. Lindsey is passionate about helping people ignite the healthy that makes them happy and you can follow all her food-filled adventures at @themealplanningmethod!