We often see holidays as the season to relax and stay away from stress, but that’s totally not the case. Holidays can be exciting, fun-filled and loaded with lots of celebrations and holiday parties. On the other hand, holiday stress can be overwhelming and tend to take away every cent of merriment, that we sometimes feel there’s a need for another vacation to recover when it ends.

However, one can enjoy the holidays and be satisfied when it ends. As such, you begin work with a feeling of fulfillment and rejuvenated. To achieve this, there are mistakes you need to avoid to boost your stress tolerance and resilience as you spend your holidays.

Below are mistakes people often make while trying to deal with holiday stress -

Using alcohol to help fall asleep

It's part of some people’s habits to unwind their stressful day with a glass of wine. It sure makes them relax more and fall asleep fast, however, alcohol does decrease REM sleep. Beyond that, alcohol also makes people dose-dependent. The more an individual drinks alcohol closer to bedtime, the higher the disruption it causes to the normal sleeping pattern of the individual.

Do your best to avoid the intake of alcohol when bedtime is close. If you must actually drink, limit it to one unit per day.

Excess intake of caffeine

Caffeine does the work of stimulating the brain. An enzyme called CYP1A2 helps to break the caffeine down in the liver at varying efficiency from person to person.  There are slow metabolizers as well as rapid metabolizers. For the slow metabolizers, caffeine can stay longer in their brain and body as well. When these people drink two cups of coffee in the morning hours, it can affect that night’s deep phase for sleep.

You have the tendency of feeling more on the edge, irritated and anxious under stress when you use caffeine to fight sleep deprivation. So before consuming that third cup of coffee for the day, consider the above possibilities.

Playing sleep catch-up on the weekend

One regular temptation you will get in the holiday is that of skipping sleep during the week with plans of catching up on the weekends. The fact is:  this practice can’t repay the amount of sleep owned. What it really does is to disrupt your regular bedtime and wake-up too. The disruption can lead to deeper issues and linger a vicious sleep-deprivation cycle.

Poor sleep reduces the quality of your perception and response to your environment. It also does prevent your ability to really focus and avoid distractions.

FOMO-induced scheduling

One can understand that there are lots of engagements and holiday parties to attend. However, getting overcommitted into these activities is not advised; the fun will backfire on you. The major cause of overwhelming is not allocating enough time for rest. Being overwhelmed would lead to lower mood and life satisfaction scores, according to findings on human behavior led by Andrew K. Przybylski of Psychology department, University of Essex.

So before over-scheduling, ensure that there is a reserved time in your daily activity for rest and relaxation.

Depending on browsing social media to alleviate mental pressure

Nothing distracts the mind more than the social media. Just by posting a picture online or going through images online, one can get an instant brain reward.

However, with this kind of mental reward comes depression and poor mental health too.  The likelihood of having lower brain volumes in the nucleus accumbens (reward center of the brain) increases among Smartphone users who check Facebook excessively, according to a recent research by a team of psychologists from Nottingham Trent University.

Making everyone else’s emergencies your emergencies

Despite the varying kinds of fun available during the holidays, urgent requests may arise from people around you which need to be done ASAP. Considering the increased level of stress usually witnessed during the holiday seasons, setting boundaries becomes very important. Imbibe the culture of being honest with friends about the things you can really do.

Come to think of it, holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not to feel burned out and frazzled. Of course, that doesn’t mean a straight “NO” to every request and disappointing people. But it will serve as beneficial to the people involved as you can’t deliver well when you cannot offer 100 percent.

Skipping your exercise routine due to other activities

Exercises help to relieve from stress. It does help you sleep better and assist you in managing your activities during the holiday. To enjoy the benefits, however, one must take routine exercise seriously. It’s recommended that at least three or more slot in your weekly schedule be allocated for a workout. Find a comfortable form of exercise for you and stick to it.

Holiday stress is certain, but the attitude one exhibits during these period goes a long way. Do yourself a favor by abstaining from the above-mentioned habits. Your mind will have you to thank after the holidays if you avoid them.

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