A bowl of hot soup, your favorite fuzzy slippers, or a big hug, there’s nothing better than what comforts you. November is National Sleep Comfort Month, which means it’s the perfect time to rethink your sleep habits and get comfortable for a great night of sleep!
Invest in Sleep Items
One of the major causes of poor sleep is your sleep products. To celebrate National Sleep Comfort Month, it may be time to ditch your old sheets, blankets, or mattress. New, fresh sleep items can revitalize your sleep behaviors and create a plush environment that’s nothing but comfortable. To find the new mattress perfect for you, click here.
Get Comfortable PJs
It may seem like a no-brainer but wearing clothes to sleep that are comfortable can lead to a pleasant night of rest. Avoid pants that are too tight or a shirt that rides up. Otherwise you’ll be busy fixing them instead of enjoying sleeping in them! Loose, soft fabrics keep you cool and comfortable as you snooze off.
Fluff Your Bed
As you start to drift into sleep, your body temperature will change. Keep an extra blanket nearby if you get chilly at night or turn on a fan if you get hot. If you love being surrounded by fluffy pillows, make sure you have enough before shutting off the light. Knowing your sleep position before purchasing a pillow can give your body the right support. Prepare for any potential disturbances—have extra pillows and a glass of water within reach and an extra blanket for temperature changes—before falling asleep so you won’t experience disturbances in the middle of the night.
Create a Sleep Journal
Each person has specific triggers that cause them to have an uncomfortable night of sleep. Keep track of what you do a few hours before bed each night this month. Then track how you feel in the morning and throughout the day. This will show you the triggers that lead to your uncomfortable night of sleep.
How will you get comfortable this month and celebrate National Sleep Comfort Month?
The dreary weather, cold temperatures, and lack to sunlight during winter months can affect one’s mood and mental health. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression associated with changes in seasons, particularly in the autumn and winter months. While there is no way to prevent the development of seasonal affective disorder, you can help manage your mood this winter to prevent it from getting worse.
Typically, seasonal affective disorder begins in the late fall or early winter and ends as the weather becomes warmer in spring. Symptoms may include feeling irritable, having low energy, oversleeping or problems with sleep, and feeling sluggish. While seasonal affective disorder can affect your daily life, it can also affect your sleep behavior.
Seasonal affective disorder does not have a specific cause. However, reduced sunlight in winter may interrupt your circadian rhythm causing you to feel sluggish or tired. Your body’s internal clock regulates circadian rhythms by exposure to sunshine. As the days get shorter, circadian rhythms may get out of sync, causing feelings of the “winter blues.” Changing seasons can also affect your melatonin levels, which are a key part of your sleep behavior. These changes can hinder your ability to fall asleep. The darker hours and lack of sunlight may cause you to want to sleep more, disrupting your sleep pattern.
So how can you help avoid seasonal affective disorder? Exposing yourself to sunlight as much as possible can help keep your circadian rhythm on track. Open the blinds, walk outside, or sit closer to windows to absorb sunlight throughout the day. Take a brief walk midday to help give your body the sunlight it lacks during winter months, or keep your surroundings sunny and bright with open curtains.
If you have low energy or feel stressed this winter, exercise can help relieve those sluggish feelings. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy food can give your body and mind a refreshed perspective this winter. Whether it’s walking your dog, playing in the snow, cooking your favorite meal, or spending time with your loved ones, be sure to keep doing what you love this winter.
It’s normal to feel down some days. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms for an extended period of time, see your doctor.
Did you know your bedroom décor can have a serious impact on your sleep health? A soothing space is important for your mind and body to relax, resulting in a night of peaceful sleep. Here are five ways you can create a soothing space for your body, mind, and soul.
Color sets the base for your bedroom décor. Almost any tone of blue creates a calming effect. Other colors that encourage relaxation in the bedroom include grays, blue-tinted purples, and neutral earth-tone colors such as coffee brown. Most importantly, choose a color that you love. Your bedroom is a representation of you and finding joy in your room will make you feel more at peace.
Using soft lighting and dim lights allows your body to prepare for sleep. While getting ready for bed, use bedside lamps or sconces instead of overhead lighting. During the day, open the shades to let in natural light instead of harsh overhead lights. When going to sleep, use darkening shades and curtains to keep the room dark as you sleep.
A clean, fresh scent is vital to the atmosphere of a room. Lavender is a great calming agent. Use fresh sprigs in a closet or mix essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz into the air and on linens. On a beautiful day, open the windows to freshen the air in the room.
How often do you crawl into bed chilly but wake up in the middle of the night toasty? Layering bedding allows you to adjust blankets easily during the night. It also creates a plush environment that makes you feel enveloped in comfort.
Don’t forget personal items to really make a bedroom soothing. Incorporate the things you love to make the space feel welcoming and personalized every time you enter. Pictures, a vase of flowers, or a painting of your favorite place can allow your mind drift off to relaxation.
As your own personal sanctuary, your bedroom is a place where you should relax and unwind. Try incorporating these soothing techniques to create an inviting environment.
There’s a monster under my bed! The boogie man is in my closet! A nightmare for a child is a dramatic and frightening episode which can mean a bad night of sleep for both children and parents. While nightmares are a normal part of a child’s development, it’s important to understand how to help a child cope with this experience. As a child’s imagination develops and they begin to realize things can hurt them, nightmares become a part of life, often occurring out of the blue.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, nightmares are dreams with vivid and disturbing content. These dreams are enough to wake a person from a deep sleep feeling panicked, often resulting in the inability to fall back asleep.
Nightmares are most common in children during REM sleep, and afterwards, a child can remember the dream. A sleep terror is an extreme nightmare that happens during non-REM sleep where the child screams and takes several minutes to fall back asleep. Sleep terrors are most common early in the night, and the child will awake will little memory of the dream.
What can you do if your child is too scared to fall back to sleep?
- The first step is to listen to the child. Listening, understanding, and providing reassurance that they are safe is the first step in helping a child calm down after a bad dream. Teach coping skills by encouraging them to “be brave” and think positive thoughts. To help the child understand they’re not alone, read a story about a child who is scared but overcomes their fear.
- Include a security object, such as a special stuffed animal. This object helps a child feel secure and relaxed while falling asleep. Many children find comfort from a pet sleeping in their room. Even a small pet, such as a fish, can provide company for a frightened child.
- Relaxation methods are a helpful for a child to learn, particularly if a nightmare occurs while they are away from home. They can use these techniques as they mature and learn to cope with fear by themselves. Have the child imagine a relaxing scene or a different ending to the nightmare.
Experiencing nightmares and learning how to cope with them are an important part of a child’s development. With ample reassurance, they will learn there is nothing to fear and find they are big and brave! For more ideas on helping a child after experiencing a nightmare, visit the National Sleep Foundation.
Funny songs, silly outfits, shocking dance moves, recipes gone bad… We’ve seen it all from the men in our lives! This Father’s Day, Serta wants to know something unique about your dad, uncle, grandfather, stepdad, brother, or friend – and that you’re “Comfortable With That.”
Tell us about something the man who guides you in life does by filling out the entry form on our Facebook page and completing this sentence: “He always __________, but I’m #ComfortableWithThat.” For example, a qualifying entry would be “He always sings Bon Jovi when he grills, but I’m #ComfortableWithThat.” Starting on Sunday, June 8, and continuing through June 14, 2014, enter for a chance to win big for your special guy!
One winner will be randomly selected every day to win a Serta Counting Sheep plush toy! On Father’s Day, one grand prize winner will be randomly chosen to receive a Serta Dad’s Summer BBQ Pack that includes a BBQ Gift Basket, a premium Steak Grilling Package, and two iComfort® Scrunch Pillows™ to help dad relax after an afternoon of BBQ’ing.
The sweepstakes will run from 8:00 am CT June 8, 2014, through 11:59 pm CT June 14, 2014. To enter starting Sunday, visit Serta’s Facebook page, where additional details and Official Rules will be published.
Warm weather, your feet in the sand, a drink in your hand, and the sound of the ocean. Sound like a great vacation? While vacations do help us relax, they can also disturb sleep patterns, especially on long travel days. Lack of sleep and jet lag are common.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, our bodies work on circadian rhythms, a 24-hour cycle measured by the rise and fall of body temperature, plasma levels of certain hormones, and other biological conditions. Our circadian rhythms often take several days to adjust when traveling to a new time zone, which produces jet lag. Whether you have a big trip planned this summer or you’re heading to a weekend getaway, here are some tips to help you get the best sleep when traveling.
Before Your Arrival
- Opt for an overnight flight to keep your sleep cycle close to normal. With an early evening flight, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner at a reasonable time and you’ll be more likely to fall asleep on the plane. Remember to sleep on the plane according to your destination’s time of day. For shorter trips, plan your travel time around meals and sleep that best replicates a normal schedule.
- If you’ll be traveling to another time zone, start to prepare a few days prior to the trip. Wake up and go to bed earlier for an eastbound trip or later for a westbound trip.
- Avoid caffeine and overeating 12 hours before departing. Don’t forget that higher altitude quickens the effects of alcohol so be sure to avoid or limit alcohol prior to and during your trip. Stay hydrated while travelling by drinking plenty of water.
After Your Arrival
- If you arrive at your destination at night, head to bed! If you arrive in the morning or afternoon, do not sleep or take a short nap. This will disrupt your sleep schedule and prevent your body from adjusting to a new time zone.
- After arriving, check your sleep environment for disturbances that may prevent you from getting sleep. Adjust the curtains or check for fixable in-room noise.
- Avoid heavy meals upon arriving so your digestive system can regulate, and stick to eating according to your new time zone.
- If you’re concerned about oversleeping, speak to the front desk about wake up calls or other services they offer.
- Head outside and explore your new destination with a brisk walk! Getting sunlight and remaining active will help your brain adjust.
For more information on sleep during travelling and jet lag, visit the National Sleep Foundation.
We’re rolling out the red carpet for our Serta fans on Twitter from now through March 2, 2014.
Tweet and win!
Send a tweet with the hashtag #ReplaceMovieNameWithSheep, and if you are one of the first 50 qualified participants retweeted by Serta, you’ll receive a collectible Serta Counting Sheep plush toy!
To enter, participants must send a tweet with the hashtag #ReplaceMovieNameWithSheep. Simply replace any movie title with the word “sheep” followed by the hashtag #ReplaceMovieNameWithSheep. For example, You’ve Got Mail becomes You’ve Got Sheep.
Movie titles can be from any genre and time period. Here is an example of a qualifying tweet:
“The Sound of Sheep #ReplaceMovieNameWithSheep”
The first qualified 50 tweets that are retweeted by @SertaMattresses will receive a Serta Counting Sheep plush toy and will automatically qualify for a chance to win the grand prize.
The grand prize winner will receive a Serta Movie Night Prize package that includes: your choice of two iComfort pillows, a Sleep to Go™ Luxury Fleece Blanket, a movie-themed gift basket, and a one-year subscription to a movie streaming service.
Individuals can only qualify once for both the Serta Counting Sheep Plush Toy and the Grand Prize.
The sweepstakes will run from February 28, 2014, through March 2, 2014, exclusively on Twitter.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.
SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The Serta Hollywood Herd Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) begins at 2:00 p.m. CST on February 28, 2014, and ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on March 2, 2014 (“Sweepstakes Period”).
SPONSOR: Serta, Inc., 2600 Forbs Avenue, Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60192 (“Sponsor”). The Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Twitter, Inc. All inquiries, questions, comments, or complaints should be directed to Sponsor, not Twitter, Inc.
AGREEMENT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES: By participating in the Sweepstakes, all entrants fully and unconditionally agree to and accept these Official Rules and the Sponsor’s decisions which are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes. Winning the prizes (described below) is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
ELIGIBILITY. Legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding residents of Quebec), who are the age of majority or older are eligible to enter, except (i) employees of Sponsor, and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion and/or their respective agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and members of their immediate families or persons residing at the same address; or (ii) individuals who entered a promotion sponsored by Sponsor and received a promotion prize valued at $600 or more during the period of February 28, 2013, through February 27, 2014.
HOW TO ENTER: To enter the Sweepstakes, during the Sweepstakes Period tweet your favorite movie title with one of the words in the movie title replaced by the word “Sheep.” You must include the hashtag #ReplaceMovieNameWithSheep. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for lost, mutilated, late or misdirected entries.
Limit one entry per person. Entries by the same person in excess of the limits stated herein will be disqualified. Attempts by the same individual to submit multiple entries by using multiple Twitter accounts may result in disqualification, at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the Twitter account submitted at the time of the entry.
PRIZES AND THE VALUE OF THE PRIZES.
A. Fifty (50) First Prizes: Each First Prize winner will receive one (1) Serta Counting Sheep Plush Toy. The approximate retail value (ARV) of the First Prize is $4.
B. One (1) Grand Prize: Grand Prize winner will receive one Serta Movie Night Package including winner’s choice of two (2) iComfort pillows, one (1) Sleep To Go Luxury Fleece Blanket, a one (1) year subscription to a movie streaming service, and one (1) movie themed gift basket. ARV of Grand Prize is $513. ARV may vary based on pillow selected.
ARV of all prizes is $713. Any difference between the stated ARV and the actual value, if any, will not be awarded.
TIMING OF DRAWINGS AND NOTIFICATION TO WINNERS. Sponsor will randomly select entries to retweet. The entrants who submitted the first fifty (50) entries retweeted by Sponsor will be deemed Finalists and will be the First Prize Provisional Winners.
The Finalists will then be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. Sponsor will conduct a random drawing from among all Finalists during regular business hours on or about March 3, 2014, to select one (1) Grand Prize Winner. The drawing will be conducted as follows: one (1) Grand Prize Provisional Winner will be selected at random by Sponsor. The First Prize and Grand Prize Provisional Winners will be notified by Sponsor by tweet and/or direct message within three (3) days after the Grand Prize drawing and will asked to provide his/her full name, shipping address, phone number and email address. In order to receive a direct message from Sponsor, you must (a) be following @SertaMattresses on Twitter and (b) have your account settings set to “unprotected” and/or “public.”
If a First Prize Provisional Winner fails to respond to Sponsor’s direct message within two (2) days of the message, the First Prize Provisional Winner will be disqualified and no alternate winner will be selected. If the Grand Prize Provisional Winner fails to respond to Sponsor’s direct message within two (2) days of the message, the Grand Prize Provisional Winner will be disqualified and a substitute Grand Prize Provisional Winner will be selected from among the remaining Finalists using the process set forth above. The first eligible Grand Prize Provisional Winner that the Sponsor successfully contacts and who claims the Grand Prize, and completes and returns an Affidavit of Eligibility, Publicity and Liability Release (“Affidavit”) within the time period specified on the Affidavit in accordance with these Official Rules will be declared the Grand Prize Winner. Delivery of the prizes will be coordinated with each winner by the Sponsor.
In addition to the above, in the event a Canadian resident is a First Prize or Grand Prize Provisional Winner, he/she must first correctly answer, unaided and without mechanical or electronic assistance a time-limited testing question administered by email or telephone. Failure of a Canadian potential winner to correctly answer the skill-testing question in the time allotted will result in a disqualification. In the event a Grand Prize Provisional winner is disqualified, he/she shall forfeit his/her prize and another entrant will be randomly selected until such time as contact is made with a selected entrant or there are no more eligible Entries, whichever comes first. In the event a First Prize Provisional Winner is disqualified no alternate winner will be selected.
A PARTICIPANT IS NOT A WINNER OF THE GRAND PRIZE UNLESS AND UNTIL SPONSOR HAS COMPLETED ITS VERIFICATION OF PARTICIPANT’S ELIGIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES.
ODDS OF WINNING. Odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries received from all entry methods.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION. Except where prohibited, by participating in the Sweepstakes entrants agree that: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of participant(s) and Sponsor and its agents shall be governed by and construed exclusively in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois without giving effect to any principles of conflicts of law of any jurisdiction. Entrant agrees that any action at law or in equity arising out of or relating to this Sweepstakes, or awarding of the prizes, shall be filed only in the state or federal courts located in the State of Illinois and entrant hereby consents and submits to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action. Except where prohibited, by participating in this Sweepstakes, each entrant agrees that: (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or awarding of the prizes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with participating in this Sweepstakes but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any participant be permitted to obtain awards for and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. Some jurisdictions do not allow the limitations or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages, so the above may not apply to you.
OTHER. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for entries it is unable to process due to network, hardware or other technical failures, or any other reason, or incomplete, damaged, misdirected, illegible, stolen or lost entries. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise, in violation of the rules. CAUTION: Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such individual to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any non-conforming entries. Sponsor further reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate or modify this promotion if not capable of completion as planned, including infection by computer virus, technical corruption, non-authorized human intervention or force majeure. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor reserves the right to select Winners from among all eligible entries received prior to date of cancellation. The use of automated entry systems or any other conduct that impedes the integrity of the Sweepstakes is prohibited. In the event of a dispute regarding online entry, entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of an established e-mail account associated with the entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an Internet Access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address.
GENERAL. Except where prohibited by law: (i) entry constitutes permission and a license to use entrant’s submission in tweets, in advertising and on web sites including Sponsor’s website and third-party social media websites; and (ii) entry constitutes permission to use each Winner’s name, hometown, voice, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding this Sweepstakes for editorial, public relations, promotional and advertising purposes on behalf of Sponsor without compensation. By participating and winning a prize, Winners release Twitter, Inc., Sponsor, and its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and agencies and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from any and all liability with respect to the prize won and participation in the Sweepstakes, subject to all federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited. Taxes on prizes are sole responsibility of Winners. For Winners’ names, available after March 30, 2014, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Serta Inc., 2600 Forbs Avenue, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 Attn: Serta Hollywood Herd Sweepstakes Winners. VT residents may omit return postage. Requests must be received no later than May 15, 2014.
Enter to Win
Post a message on Twitter using the #ReplaceMovieNameWithSheep and the title of a film from any genre and time period, replacing one word of the title with the word “Sheep”, from 2:00 pm CT on February 28, 2014, through 11:59pm CT on March 2, 2014.
By Tésa Nicolanti of www.2Wired2Tired.com
Travel and the holidays go hand in hand. Many of us will be maneuvering our way through crowded airports, traffic jams, flight delays, and unexpected weather to celebrate with family and friends. All of this can be exhausting and that’s why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep so you can enjoy the festivities once you arrive at your destination. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your holiday travel sleep arrangements.
Bunking With Relatives
Will you be staying with relatives over the holidays? Worried that Grandpa’s snoring is going to keep you awake night after night? Make sure you pack earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. If you are a night owl while everyone else is an early bird or if you are simply dealing with jet lag, this can help keep the din of busy house to a low level allowing you can catch a few more z’s before your feet hit the floor for the day. They also can block out the snoring of any roommates or Grandpa down the hall helping you to get the rest you need so you have the energy to bake cookies, wrap gifts, go sledding, and enjoy every moment.
Hitting The Sack At A Hotel
When you know you’ll be staying in a hotel be sure to do a little research and pack a few things to ensure a good night’s sleep. Did you know that Serta is the number one mattress supplier to the hotel industry in the United States? If your hotel has a Serta mattress you are sure to be in good hands. When packing bring a sound machine or find a good white noise app on your phone. Listening to hotel room doors bang shut, ice machine racket, elevators roaring up and down, or the clamor of street traffic will surely keep you up all night. Block out all the commotion with the sleep machine or app. It’s an easy and simple way to drift off to sleep while traveling.
Will you be hosting guests this holiday season? Make their stay memorable by offering amenities that will have them sleeping as soundly as if they were in their own beds at home. Put a TV in the guest room so they have a place to unwind at the end of long and festive day. Provide reading materials, magazines and books, so they can enjoy them as they lounge in bed just a little while longer or prior to nodding off. Pamper them with Serta Memory Foam Pillows and Luxury Fleece Blankets to chase away the winter chill. Provide a small basket of snacks and drinks so they can enjoy them in their room when hunger hits.
These tips will make holiday travel a little easier and more pleasant this year. A good night’s sleep is important and will help you enjoy the festivities to their fullest.
By Melissa Mitchell of SippyCupMom.com
The holidays are here and if you’re like me, this month is full of activities both with your family and at school. We have so much going on from traditions like Breakfast with Santa and driving around looking at Christmas lights to classroom parties and visiting friends and family that don’t live nearby. With such an exciting time of year, it’s easy for kids routines to get messed up – which means their sleep is getting interrupted too!
Everyone knows that lack of sleep for a little one equals a cranky little one and possibly cranky parents too! To keep the holiday season jolly and bright, here are some tips on keeping a good sleep routine for your child this month.
1. Be firm with a set bedtime
There have already been a few special occasions in the past few weeks where my three kids were kept up way past their bedtime since we were having so much fun or celebrating a special event. Your child may beg to stay up late again once you’re back home but make sure to stay firm with a consistent bedtime or as close to their regular bedtime as possible. You may have to start their “wind-down” time a little earlier so they get used to getting settled into bed. Once this busy time of year is over with, you’ll be thankful!
2. Quiet Time and Naps
I have a 5 year old who gave up naps years ago. But with all of the busyness of the season, he is usually exhausted after school and on the weekends. I usually enforce “Quiet Time” in his room where he can lay on his bed and look through his books. I usually let him listen to Christmas music and he usually ends up falling asleep anyway during this time!
With my 9 month old twins, I’m very strict on making sure they have nap time or quiet time in their cribs, especially if I know we will be out later that evening or in new surroundings.
3. Traveling During the Holidays
If you’re out of town visiting family, try to keep the same bedtime routine as if you were at home. If you have to keep the same bedtime for the sanity of everyone, do it! Make sure to bring familiar PJs, a pillow and a stuffed animal so your child feels comfortable during bedtime.
4. Focus on your Child at Bedtime
Days can be long and most parents are exhausted after a busy day during the holidays but when it comes time for your child’s bedtime, make sure to completely focus on them! Especially if you are out of town, they can suffer from being overstimulated. Take time to tuck them into bed, talk about their day and what they enjoyed most, read a holiday book or just talk about what they are excited about this holiday season. Once they have your complete focus, they should be nodding off and dreaming of sugarplums in no time!
What are some of your tips for keeping your child on a sleep schedule during the holidays?
By Jennifer Scheumann of TinyOranges.com
‘Tis the season to be…stressed. There, I said it.
I am a really positive person by nature but every year during the holiday season at some point I find myself thinking how sad it is that what is supposed to be the happiest season can easily become the most stressful time of year.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning and perspective, you can find more peace this year with these tips on how to avoid holiday stress.
1. Implement a Method to the Shopping Madness
A lot of the holiday stress for me comes from last minute running around. If you plan ahead you can save time and streamline your errands.
First, make a list of all the people you will buy gifts for this season along with gift ideas. You can also do a budget if that helps you feel less stressed as well.
Once you have your list of gifts, write down where you will get them, and make a list of your retail shopping locations, gifts to buy at those stores, and online shopping.
Take your retail stores and make a shopping plan where you can either take a chunk of time and do a lot of it in one day, or break it up into stops where you can plan out when you will hit those stores.
For your online orders, schedule a block of time so you can do the majority of it at once.
2. Shop Early. Like Now.
Once you are done with your list, there is no time like the present (no pun intended), so get out there and get as much shopping done early as possible. Having your shopping done will, in itself, make you feel more at peace.
3. Evaluate Your Social Calendar
A lot of stress for the month of December comes from the “fun” events, right?! The additional social events can really throw off your groove.
Just like your shopping, write down all the social obligations you will have for the month by date.
Taking it a step further, write down any shopping or preparation needed for that event.
For example, do you need a new pair of heels for your husband’s Christmas party? Need to buy a gift for your child’s holiday classroom party?
Add those errands to the retail stops or online orders in your shopping plan so you can get it all done in one swoop!
3. RSVP “No” If Needed (It’s OK!)
The holidays can sometimes be too much. Give yourself permission to politely decline a social invitation if you feel like you are getting over scheduled. You don’t have to go to everything. Say it again with me, “you don’t have to go to everything.”
4. Give Yourself Permission to Take Shortcuts
Nobody cares if you buy a dozen sugar cookies from your local bakery for your cookie exchange. Put it in your own dish with a pretty bow and call it a day. Nobody has to know. I won’t tell.
5. Schedule in Time to Take Care of Yourself
In the month of December, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. In your week, schedule one hour (or more!) of an activity that relaxes you. Maybe it’s a pedicure, reading a book, taking a bath, going for a walk with a girlfriend, etc. Taking time to recharge your battery will help ease the stress and keep you more in balance.
6. That’s a Wrap
In the week(s) prior to Christmas (NOT the night before) schedule a block of time to be in your house ALONE to get all your wrapping done. If that means arranging for your husband or the grandparents to take the kids for the day, do it! Even better, maybe there is a high school student in your neighborhood that would want to wrap your gifts for a small fee? Consider outsourcing if needed.
Just don’t leave your wrapping until the wee hours of the night. You need your sleep.
7. Silent Night
Speaking of sleep, the number one thing you can do to avoid holiday stress and find peace is to make sure you are getting a solid night’s sleep, every night. No more online shopping or gift wrapping late into the night! Plan ahead so you can make sure that your sleep is not sacrificed. Lack of sleep and over-caffienation can make anyone feel stressed.
I hope some of these tips have been helpful. Now go out and dazzle this holiday season!