As much as we love all the festivities and fun the holidays bring, we could do without all the stress that comes with this time of year.Dr. Michael Breus, also known as “The Sleep Doctor,” has some advice about getting through the holiday season without getting too stressed out and number one on his list? Avoiding “emotional vampires.” He describes these as the kind of people who drain your energy and make it hard to make time for yourself.
“Is there a person in your life who every time you deal with them, they’re negative, and you feel like they’re suckin the life out of you?” he asks. “Or they’ve always got a complaint? Those types of people really zap your energy.” Breus isn’t suggesting you ignore someone just because they’re struggling or feeling negative, especially at this time of year, but he says it’s important to realize they could be pulling out your positive energy.
To avoid that, he recommends setting boundaries with any emotional vampires. And to reclaim your sense of positive energy, The Sleep Doctor suggests doing things you enjoy, like listening to your favorite music. Other Sleep Doctor-approved ways to keep stress levels in check include:
- Getting enough sleep- Having a heart rate below 60 beats per minute can help you get to sleep, so if you’re having trouble drifting off, he recommends trying the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Just breathe in for a count of four, hold it for seven, then breathe out for a count of eight. He says the different breathing times make the method very effective, so it’s worth a try.
- Watch the added sugar- Loading up on sweets shortly before bedtime could keep you tossing and turning. Breus says you can still indulge in all your favorite holiday treats, just be mindful about it, like not having them near bedtime.
- Stay hydrated- This is important every day, but especially when drinking alcohol. Breaus says you should drink a glass of water for every boozy beverage you have to help stay hydrated.