How to Manage Stress Through the Holidays
Too much family and friends, not enough family and friends, overeating, over-drinking, over-shopping, over-scheduled, on top of the usual daily to do’s! It’s no wonder the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. And we know too much stress has a negative impact on our health. How to survive in style? Keep a few of these holiday de-stressors in mind!
Exercise and Breathe
Allow yourself time to go walking, do aerobics, weightlifting or any exercise will de-stress you and increase your sense of well-being. And whether you’re exercising or not, remember to take deep breaths and really give your body the oxygen it needs. Just a few big breaths can reduce your stress.
Set Realistic Expectations
Write down what you expect to happen during the holidays, because these expectations might actually be what causes the stress! Under each expectation, write changes you can make to make to be more realistic. For example, if one of your expectations is “giving everyone the perfect gift”, you might write under that “stick to my budget. Ask people what they want. Prioritize who gets a gift and who gets a card.”
Here’s some other solutions for over-expectations:
Instead of cooking home-made holiday meals, buy prepared foods, ask others to bring dishes, or cook and freeze ahead of time.
Instead of doing every event that comes your way, discuss with your family which traditions are most important, and come up with an amount that won’t leave you exhausted.
Instead of trying to see all of your family and friends, plan to visit some people after the holidays. And be clear with your family about your plans so they can manage their own expectations.
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, ask others for help. Prioritize the important tasks and be sure to rest when your body tells you to.
Instead of being lonely if no one invites you out, invite people to your home, or try volunteering to help those less fortunate. And remember, it’s okay to have feelings of sadness or loneliness. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help if you need it.
With some planning and paradigm shifts, your usual holiday stress-fest can be a holiday fun-fest!
Tagged in: Keeping It Real