Holiday To-Do List

Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life

We often think that the holidays are for spending quality time with our family, carrying out traditions and enjoying time at home with the ones we love the most. Although the holidays are truly a special time for our families, it should also be a relaxing time for yourself so add these in your holiday to do list.

For most of us, we make plans to buy gifts, bake, shop, cook the right food, and decorate, but forget to plan alone time. We all need time by ourselves doing whatever it is that makes us happy. Usually, during the holidays, there is enough support around (family or a spouse) to look after the children. We can use this time to pamper ourselves, so this works out perfectly.

Why is this time so important?

It’s like the emergency message the airlines relate to us every time we take a flight: “Please place your oxygen mask on yourself before you tend to your child.” They tell us this because our children can’t be taken care of if we are slumped over from a lack of oxygen. The same is true for us in everyday life, particularly around the holiday season. We must take time to do something for ourselves in order to recharge.

Scientists in the Journal of Research in Personality stated that just five minutes of quiet solitude is all it takes to reset the body’s stress-regulating sympathetic nervous system. In fact, when study volunteers took a solo timeout, their heart rates dropped and blood pressure stabilized. Plus, they subconsciously drew deeper breaths. This triple effect left them feeling focused, rejuvenated and 58 percent more energized. So, if five minutes can do this, just think how great you would feel if you scheduled an hour or two away by yourself doing something you love!

Listed below are some suggestions for your holiday to do list

  • Get a manicure, pedicure, or both!
  • Go for a walk in nature.
  • Sit at a cafe and read a book while sipping a latte or tea.
  • Get a massage.
  • Take a bath then cozy up in bed with a great magazine and a cup of tea while family or hubby takes the kids out to play
  • Go to a yoga or exercise class.
  • Watch a movie by yourself while everyone is out of the house.
  • Write in a journal or diary. Write about your goals, fears, and things you’re grateful for.
  • Get a facial or give yourself one at home while everyone is away from the house
  • Go to the library and search the shelves for every book you said you’d love to read. Sign them out or book them for later. Then sit down and enjoy the peace and quiet of a library while you get lost in a fabulous book.
  • A whole lot of planning goes into this time of year. Why not put yourself on that list of things to do? Your mind, body, spouse, and children will thank you for it.