The final stretch of the year can sometimes feel like the hardest. As the New Year approaches, there is often pressure to finish (or even start) all the things you haven’t quite gotten around to. Not to mention the added stress the holidays can bring from hosting your in-laws to trying to conquer the Black Friday crowds.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent feeling burnt out by your end of the year to-do list. We partnered with Sleep Number to offer some healthy tips on how to keep yourself focused and feeling your best.
Schedule Some “Me Time”
While it’s great to surround yourself with friends and family this time of year, it doesn’t leave much time for yourself. If you are feeling worn out, you can recharge with some scheduled “me time.” Whether it’s reading a good book or taking in the sunset, putting aside 30 minutes of your day can vastly improve your mood and your stamina.
Exercise can become a low priority when life gets busy, but it is a great outlet for stress relief. Physical activity, even if it is simply going for a walk or taking a bike ride, will reduce your level of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. Do it with your family or with your friends to cross two things off your list at once. Getting your blood pumping will also increase your endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Not to mention, regular workouts can make it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
Even if a situation is stressful, meditating will give you the tools to manage it from the inside out. The best part is that all you need is a quiet and comfortable space to practice. Meditating regularly can actually alter your brain in a way that will reduce stress. Most importantly, it gives you a chance to connect to your body and focus on the present. By slowing down and taking a moment to acknowledge your inner-feelings, you can clear your mind for the day ahead. To help get you started, check out this beginner’s guide to meditation.
Take a Power Nap
It may feel counterintuitive to lay down when you have a lot to do, but a quick snooze can actually help you get work done. Experts have found that a power nap lasting only 10-26 minutes can actually improve productivity. Some even suggest drinking a cup of coffee before you catch some Zs. Since it takes 20-30 minutes for the caffeine to kick in, by the time you wake up you will be feeling refreshed and ready to go.
It’s easy to feel productive when we are constantly engaging with our electronics, but often times they only distract us from the things we want to get done. Spending extra time on our devices, especially after work can prevent our brain from relaxing and recharging. By unplugging for a couple hours, you’ll have more time to focus on the things you enjoy.