Being a landlord is stressful. With the self-assessment deadline looming, not to mention all the legislative red tape landlords have to deal with these days, we wouldn’t blame you if you were feeling a bit overwhelmed.
But before you start listing your buy to let properties on Zoopla, take some time this Christmas to unwind for a few days. We all need to recharge our batteries every so often, and landlords need some quality time off more than most.
To get you started, we have 27 tips to help you chill out this Christmas.
1. Book a spa day
Pampering is good for the soul. Book a spa day on your own, with friends or loved ones. Imagine how relaxed you’ll feel after an indulgent day of massages, relaxing saunas, beauty treatments, and more. Look on Groupon for deals or add a spa day voucher to your Christmas List.
If your budget won’t stretch to a spa day, have your very own spa day at home. Light some aromatherapy candles, run a hot bath, and pour a nice glass of something fizzy.
2. Take a last-minute holiday
Holidays are a great way to relax, away from the pressures of running a property portfolio. Start looking for a last-minute holiday deal. Does skiing appeal? Or would you rather be lying on a beach, sipping margaritas in the sun?
There are always last-minute bargains to be had. Check out online travel websites like Expedia and lastminute.com.
3. Sort out a holiday for next year
If you can’t spare a week for a holiday this year, at least spend a day sorting out a holiday for next year. It will give you something to look forward to.
Meditation may sound a bit ‘new age’, but it’s a proven stress reliever. If you have never tried guided meditation before, try watching some YouTube videos or download a meditation app for your smartphone. It’s easier than you think.
Once you get into the habit of meditating each day, it should help you knock stress into touch when 2020 comes around.
5. Practice mindfulness
Hot on the heels of meditation comes mindfulness. Put that smartphone to one side and really live in the moment. Focus on what’s around you. Listen to the birds. Smell the scent of pine needles. Feel the sun on your face (when it’s not raining!). Mindfulness forces you to concentrate on the here and now rather than all the things that are stressing you out.
Go on, reconnect with your body and give it a try!
6. Go for a walk in the country
Leave the sounds of the city or suburbia behind, take a drive out into the country, and spend a couple of hours walking somewhere scenic. Visit a country park or stroll through some local woods. You don’t need a dog or children to enjoy a walk in the country. It’s a fun way to relax, especially on a crisp, sunny day. Wrap up warm, leave your worries at home, and enjoy the feel of the sun on your face.
7. Go for a long drive
Have you ever just driven for the sake of it? Or do all your journeys involve trips to the supermarket or property inspections? Driving for the sake of it can be quite relaxing, unless you hit the M25 at rush hour, of course!
Head out on to the open road and just drive. Go where the mood takes you and if you spot something interesting, pull over and enjoy the view. You never know, you could discover a gorgeous country pub somewhere scenic. A homecooked meal washed down with half a pint of real ale is just the tonic for stressed-out landlords.
8. Walk on the beach
The joy of walking along a wind-swept beach with the wind in your hair and the scent of salt in the air is hard to beat. Nothing whips away the stress faster than a sharp Atlantic breeze. The great thing about living in the UK is that we are never more than a couple of hours away from the coast.
Wrap up warm, pack a flask of hot coffee, and drive to the nearest beach. Once you have had your fill of sand and sea, tuck into some fish and chips or some fresh warm seaside donuts.
9. Spend time with family and friends
It’s not always easy to find time to spend with family and friends. Being a landlord is not a 9-5 job and the pressures of dealing with your properties can easily encroach on your personal life.
Christmas is a time to reconnect with loved ones. Switch off your phone and plan a family day or invite friends over for a nice meal. Remember, relationships of all kinds need work, and if you neglect those you care about, it will cause you even more stress in the long-term.
10. Discover new board games
Go retro and have fun playing some board games. From Trivial Pursuit and Lattice to Cluedo and Monopoly, board games are a great way to unwind on a wet Christmas afternoon. Just be sure to leave your competitive side at the door, or it could get ugly…
11. Buy a new PC or console game
If putting hotels on Park Lane isn’t your thing, pick up the latest PC or video game this Christmas. Killing zombies or your enemies is sure to reduce your stress levels. The top games this year include COD: Modern Warfare, Borderlands 3, and Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order. We hear Resident Evil 2 is pretty awesome too.
Go on, you know you want to…
12. Enjoy some alone time
Does spending time with the in-laws bring you out in hives? If you are an introvert and you much prefer your own company, life is often stressful for you. The more interactions you have, the more stressful it can be. Schedule some alone time and turn your smartphone on to ‘do not disturb’ mode. A day spent reading a good book or listening to your favourite tunes home alone might be enough to recharge your batteries.
13. Binge watch some festive movies
It wouldn’t be Christmas without some feel-good festive movies. Grab some popcorn and settle down on the sofa to watch Elf, The Polar Express, or The Nightmare Before Christmas. Or, if you fancy braving the crowds, head on over to the nearest Multiplex and watch The Last Christmas (the critics panned it but it’s proving a popular antidote to election stress).
14. Go to a comedy night
Laughter is just the tonic for stress. A good belly laugh relaxes your muscles and relieves physical tension, and the effects last for a good 45-minutes. If you’ve never been to a comedy night, you are seriously missing out. Combine laughter with a few drinks and some food. It’s guaranteed to be an amazing night.
15. Hit the gym
Exercise releases endorphins, which are great stressbusters. A hard session at the gym is Mother Nature’s stress tonic. By the time you’ve collapsed in a sweaty heap at the end of a spin session or circuits class, work stress will be the farthest thing from your mind.
16. Try a yoga class
Yoga is a different type of exercise. At first glance, it appears nice and relaxing, but bending your body into a series of weird poses is actually hard work! However, many yoga classes take place in dimly lit studios, with aromatherapy candles and meditation music, so they are surprisingly relaxing. Try it and see.
17. Sign up for a sports event
If stress is causing problems in your life, you need a distraction. Sign up for a sports event in the New Year and start training for it. Pick an event that is achievable, subject to your current level of fitness. So, if you are a couch potato, a 5K fun run is a worthy target, but if you’re a gym regular, how does an Iron Man sound? Fantastic!
18. Have a duvet day
We all need a duvet day from time to time. Switch off your phone, unplug gadgets, and chill in bed all day. Watch movies, eat calorific food, catch up on your sleep, and shut the world out for a few blissful hours in your fortress of duvet-itude.
19. Quit the diet for a day
Many of us spend our entire lives on a diet treadmill. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, counting every last calorie and avoiding certain food groups is added stress you just don’t need. Give yourself a break. If stress is getting you down, skip the diet for one day. Eat what you want. Drink what you feel like drinking. A little of what you like won’t kill you.
20. Have a crazy night out
Remember those crazy nights out you had in your misspent youth? The ones where you woke up with a monstrous hangover, a traffic cone in your bed, and no recollection of the previous 12 hours? Well, we are not suggesting you go too crazy, but a wild night out could be just the ticket. Live dangerously and organise a night on the town with friends. Make it a “say yes” night, so whatever someone suggests, you have to say “yes”. It’s a great way to try new things, like dancing on the table or singing karaoke…
21. Curate your playlists
Music is a good antidote to stress. Some landlords like to listen to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.30 whereas others prefer a bit of Mariah Carey. Each to their own – we won’t judge you. Whatever your taste in music, spend an afternoon curating your record, CD, or digital music collection. Listen to old tunes you haven’t heard for years and download some new ones. If you have a record or CD collection, organise it into artist or genre. And if you are really OCD, catalogue and colour code it.
22. Find a new hobby
When was the last time you took up a new hobby? Last year? 10 years ago? “Hobbies, what are they exactly?” When your everyday life is stressful, hobbies offer some escapism. Try something you’ve always wanted to do, like watercolour painting or golf. You don’t have to be amazing at it – just have fun!
23. Gardening is Zen
Millions disappear into their garden when the going gets tough. Digging, planting, and being at one with your garden is very relaxing. You can trim, plant, and landscape your garden all year round, although it’s not quite as pleasant on a cold, wet day. But fear not because that’s why garden sheds were invented. When the weather is bad, head out into your shed and pot seedlings or clean your tools. Work will be the last thing on your mind.
24. Start the Spring Clean early
It’s hard to relax when the kitchen is a mess and the bathroom is unhygienic. Spring isn’t too far away, so this Christmas, get a head start on your annual spring clean. Whip out the feather duster and marigolds and get to grips with grime and dirt. A clean home is a happy home. And if you get the job done before Christmas, you can truly chill out on the big day without worrying about dust bunnies under the sofa and soap rings in the bath.
25. Try a tech detox
Tech is responsible for a huge amount of stress. Scare stories online leave us fearing for the future of the planet and social media trolling is enough to make anyone stay offline. If you are stressed, social media and other digital platforms are probably not helping your state of mind. Instead of endlessly reading landlord forums and immersing yourself in the Daily Mail, unplug from tech devices and have a day off from social media. Talk to your family instead!
26. Catch up with old friends
A problem shared is a problem halved, but our hectic lives often make it hard to keep in touch with friends. Yes, we can communicate via social media, but it’s hardly the same as an actual conversation. This Christmas why not make an effort to connect with old friends? Reach out and organise a coffee meetup or festive drinks. You can catch up, share your woes, and it won’t feel so bad.
27. Tackle some DIY projects
DIY isn’t everyone’s idea of a chill-out activity, but if you are a practical person, a DIY project is a great way to leave work behind and immerse yourself in the joys of power tools this Christmas!
We hope these tips have given you food for thought this Christmas, but if stress is making you ill, please do book a doctor’s appointment.
Let us know if you have any other stress-busting suggestions that might help our readers. We are always happy to hear from you, on here or via social media.
Happy holidays from all the team at Landlord Vision!
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