How to tweak holiday traditions

Festive season tweaks for maximum rest

The festive season is almost here, and lots of us are looking forward to some time off as schools are closed and many companies shut down between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ideally, we should fill these days with fun and rest, but we tend to over-schedule ourselves and find that we’re even more exhausted than before the holiday season.

Here are a few helpful tweaks that can correct the balance and ensure we make the most of this fun time:

  1. Time-manage your social calendar. If you live with others, chat to them about a reasonable set bedtime. Once you have established a time for that much-needed shut-eye, use this as your guideline for when to leave any social events you may attend. Even though parties and meet-ups are great for boosting oxytocin levels, getting enough sleep is what will help you step into the new year feeling refreshed and raring to go.
  2. Balance festive foods. While the festive season tends to be about enjoying all the luxuries usually avoided during the year, making sure that you continue eating healthily in between by including fresh fruits and vegetables and tempering how much sugary treats and alcohol you consume will help you to sleep well and minimise morning-after regret. Treat yourself, but in moderation.
  3. Make a festive season shopping list and stick to it. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, shopping malls tend to be busier than ever, with everyone shopping up a storm for the festive season treats. Both in-store and online shopping can lead to an adrenaline rush that lasts for hours after you’ve completed checkout. This could hamper your sleep if done later in the day so, get your to-do list done as early as possible.
  4. Schedule some downtime for mental health. Schedule a day or two for some time off with loved ones. As hard as it might be, decline party invitations and treat yourself to a day where you can hang out in pyjamas, watch cheesy Christmas movies and spend quality time with those you love. Taking some time out will do wonders for your mental health and improve your sleep quality as you make the most of those oxytocin hormones.
  5. Consider a new year’s resolution. Resolutions don’t need to be dramatic or expensive to be effective. For example, you could choose to prioritise your sleep by making small adjustments to your bedtime routine. Even just adding something calming into your life like an art class, Tai Chi, or yoga can give you a new outlook on life.

For those with young children who celebrate Christmas, here is a bonus tip just for you:

  1. Unwrapping gifts. No matter how old your kids are, unwrapping gifts can be the most anticipated part of Christmas Day. For the sake of sleeping in, consider unwrapping one gift on Christmas Eve or leaving a gift for your child near their bed during the night. Let them know that they can open that gift and only that gift when they wake up. All you need to do is make sure the gift is safe and easy enough to enjoy alone to buy yourself a few extra hours of sleep.

 

If you’re looking for more helpful sleep tips and advice, click here to visit our sleep blog

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