Ten Simple Ways to Take a Break This Holiday Season

Ten Simple Ways to Take a Break This Holiday Season Growing up I couldn't wait for December and the holidays. All I could think about was all the holiday things we would do as a family: decorating the tree, baking cookies, visiting New York City to see the holiday window displays, wrapping presents that I spent hours either making or agonizing over. Now I still love December but it's a bit different. I hear myself sighing and rushing through my favorite holiday tasks. I'm not enjoying it like I used to. Which is how I discovered that I need to plan in breaks during the holidays, even if it's only five minutes each day.

Break time is so important.

If you're anything like me, you pack your days with lots of activities. I hate to sit still! Aside from working my eight hour day, there is an hour workout then cooking dinner then cleaning up around the apartment then finally time to sit down...and blog for three hours until bed time. Now during the holidays you can add what feels like a million other things in an already packed day. So it's easy to see how you could lose your sanity. For me, I start snapping at everyone around then immediately feel bad. What you really don't want to happen is to let the holidays pass by without enjoying it.

That's where allowing yourself short breaks comes in handy when you're trying to stay sane. Stop, take a breath, and then check out for a few minutes. I guarantee it will make you feel better and you'll actually be a better person who people will want to spend the holidays with.

Short on time? No problem.

Here are ten ways to take a short break and return to the sane, happy person you know you are (most of the time).

  1. Social media break. I know, I know, this might not seem like a break for most of you. But if you're not on your phone or computer all day, it's really nice to take five minutes to zone out and just look at pretty instagram-filtered photos. Set a timer so you don't waste an hour (because you know that's entirely possible).
  2. Tea time! Coffee break! True story: I carry a tea bag in my purse. Some taps can actually have water that's hot enough but any old microwave will do.
  3. Read ONE internet article. My personal favorite is the New York Times style section. Reading anything will help take you away, if only for a moment.
  4. Listen to your favorite song. When I worked retail during the holidays in high school, hearing Baby, It's Cold Outside over and over again started to take it's toll mentally. That's why I went home and listened to The Format (don't judge).
  5. Doodle. If you've been really focused and your brain has been switched "on" for a long time, like when navigating holiday traffic, it starts to get numb. Grab a pad of paper, or the back of a receipt, and doodle. Swirls or stick people or flowers, whatever your hand decides to do without rules. It will help  you zone out and feel zen, I guarantee it.
  6. Stretch. I am no yogi but I love a good stretch. Reach down and touch your toes, stretch your fingers to the sky, or do lunges. It's a break that will get your blood flowing again.
  7. Grab a snack. Obviously you're trying to watch what you eat a little during this season of overindulgence. But sometimes you just need to munch on something. At this time of year it's a good idea to pack a snack if you're stuck in a long line at the mall. I like trail mix with dried cranberries!
  8. Call a friend. In this season of parties and gift giving, somehow there's never enough time for everyone. Give a call to check in but be honest with them that you just want to check in for a moment (we're short on time after all!). Schedule a good long phone date for another day!
  9. Flip through a magazine. This is the perfect break for when you're waiting in line at the grocery store. The only way I catch up on my celebrity news!
  10. Set an alarm and close your eyes. Sometimes you really need to check out and there's nothing wrong with finding a quiet spot to close your eyes and relax.