It’s that most wonderful time of the year – the world is full of glittering holiday lights, and the joyful sounds of holiday music. We look forward with eager anticipation to sharing evenings with family and friends, and to watching their delight and surprise as they open their holiday gifts. But as December days fly by, a rising sense of panic begins to take hold. If only we had more time for the gift buying, cooking, decorating, sending of cards and mailing of packages. Our lovely feelings of holiday cheer begin to morph into feelings of anxiety and stress. In fact, according to a recent poll, more than 80% of us find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful. If you’re beginning to feel more stress than cheer, here are some suggestions that may get you back in the holiday spirit.
Take a breather and curl-up with a good book. Reading is a great way to unwind and forget the stress that often accompanies the holidays. According to recent research, reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds. And it works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as taking a walk or drinking a hot cup of tea. Reading clears your mind, slows your breathing and helps to restore inner calm. Pick a book that is light and entertaining or a good escape; or take time to catch up on a favorite author or series. It’s a sure way to take your mind off that holiday to-do list.
Read to a child. We all have a special memory of being read a holiday favorite. Everyone loves the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol“ or the charming “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” by Clement Moore. There are dozens of other enchanting holiday books in the library’s collection. Take time to browse and find that special book to share. A quiet moment reading with a child will remind you why the holidays are a special time for you and your family.
Listen to music. The soothing power of music is well known. Listening to music you enjoy can relax and calm you, whether it’s Jingle Bells or the latest from Jay-Z. Borrow one of the library’s holiday CDs, download a classic from our Freegal music service or listen to the latest pop album with Hoopla. Singing along with your holiday favorite can also help to release tension and reduce stress.
Come-in to the quiet and take a holiday from the holiday. Get out of the house and all that reminds you of what remains to be done. The library offers a peaceful space to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the season. Browse our shelves, pick-up a book, get comfy in a chair and read. You’ll soon find yourself transported away from any anxiety and frustration the season may bring. Enjoy the season and include reading in your holiday plans this year!