During the holidays, with all the feasting and family, it’s easy to forget to actually rest. Holidays can be a triple-threat against entrepreneurs -- travel and socializing can wear you out, your mind is unable to disconnect from work, or you may even lose motivation to go back to work. On the other hand, intentional and mindful rest during the holiday season can be the most effective time you have. Here are five ways to relax and recharge even as you celebrate.
1. Start with solitude.
This is especially important for introverts. If you don’t prepare yourself mentally each morning for the socializing and stimulation, you’ll be running on empty for the holiday season. How you start your day will set the trajectory for the rest of the day. Adopt a morning ritual to clear your mind and mentally prepare yourself.
2. Breathe, reframe, redirect.
Interacting with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while can be a recipe for disaster. Make the decision to be responsive rather than reactive. People get angry and offended when comments or opinions become overly internalized. But it’s not always about you. A simple technique is to externalize frustrations -- take a breath, then reframe anything negative as an issue that has to do with the other person rather than you. This isn’t license to shift blame when you’re at fault, but it’s good to remember that you’re not always the problem.
3. Intentional gratitude.
Make the holidays a time to strengthen relationships. Giving someone a hug and telling them why you’re grateful for them causes your brain to release the "love" hormone, oxytocin. It's also a good time to reconnect with old friends and mentors. Take some time to send appreciative emails and handwritten cards.
4. Get outside.
If weather permits, getting outdoors in nature has many health benefits, including lowering your stress levels and blood pressure. It can even help you become more creative. After all the eating, get some fresh air and go for a walk rather than lounge on the couch.
5. End with reflecting.
Another brain chemical, serotonin, is released whenever you reflect on meaningful events and achievements from the past. Take time at the end of the day to think through people and personal accomplishments that you’re grateful for. Revisit the "why" behind your work -- the people who inspire and motivate you to achieve your goals. Visualizing these events will fuel and energize you to get back to work after the holiday season.