It’s that time of the year when we’re slowly winding down to the close of the year, but we’re also stepping into a vibrant season of festive spree. The colours of Dusshera and the lights of Diwali mean wonderful things and times of cherished sharing and happiness, but they can also be a trigger for stress if we’re not on our guard.
Festivities bring their to-do lists of shopping, cooking, socialising, cleaning up, dressing up, among other things and can be overwhelming. The preparation that leads to them and our desire to have it all turn up a certain way can leave especially those of us with the responsibility of organising overworked. During our time with loved ones we may end up indulging more than we should and spiralling into guilt. The constant advertisements nudging us to buy things and the habit of comparing with others may mean our finances are adversely affected.
Here are a few self-care tips to help you enjoy this season of light without burning out.
Don’t leave everything to the eleventh hour and crumble under stress. Festivals need a bit of planning like all events. Last minute gift shopping usually means you don’t have time to consider options and can end up buying things that are not the best and may burn a hole in your pocket. Recruit family members and delegate work, let children pitch in to prepare sweets or other chores that they may enjoy. Collaborating on your celebrations will add to fun and memories.
Relax, t’s time for fun
Festivals are not performance competitions, we can subconsciously end up comparing the gifts we give and receive, how we decorate our homes, how we dress etc. Take the pressure off yourself, prioritise what you enjoy during the festive season and how much energy you have to put in and enjoy the season accordingly. Though there are various traditions we associate with the season, don’t feel obligated to fulfill all of them.
Who isn’t guilty of throwing their exercise routines out of the window during festivals? It is very easy to get carried away in the bustle of festive joy, which is not a bad thing. But getting some physical exercise as we know triggers ‘happy’ hormones like serotonin and dopamine and will help us cope with any negative feelings. Exercise can ease your muscle tension and help you deal with anxiety. Yoga in particular can be a good antidote to intercept the buzz of festivals.
Watch Your Breathing
Several studies have shown the effectiveness of breathing exercises in reducing stress. Some breath work is a quick way to get back to your self-care routine when you sense any anxiety or stress building up. It lets you experience calm immediately in the middle of any circumstance. Try and pick a time and space to include it during your festive times.
Sleep it Off
The best thing you can do for yourself while you enjoy festivals is to protect your sleep. The indulgence of festivals including overeating, drinking, socialising can mean you are not getting your regular sleep. It can even be affected before festivals preparing for it and after it, while you try to get back to your routine. Identify music that helps you wind down, ambient music that creates the atmosphere for sleep or bed time stories to help you get better rest.
All good things come to an end, so do festivals. You will have to back to the grind, from the erratic eating, indulging in sweets and drinks and spending time with loved ones. When the high of festivities tapers down, you may find yourself ‘crashing’ with your routine all over the place. Getting off too much sugar, drinking or caffeine after days of indulging means stocking your pantry with the right nutritious things. You can get back to exercise with yoga basics or flex yoga before picking your pace.
Remember festivals are about sharing joy and taking a break from stress, not creating more of it for ourselves.