The holidays are a time of year for celebration, being with family, and enjoying. Yet, they also tend to be a time of stress for many people in terms of preparation, overindulgence, and cost. The following are five ways to manage your stress through this holiday season.
1. Make time for your family but also for yourself.
If you are a parent, the holidays can be extremely stressful as you prepare for your children’s celebration. However, even if you are single the additional stress of attending holiday parties, family gatherings, and gift buying may seem like more to do. This is why it is especially important during this time of year to make sure you create some time for yourself. Take a few minutes to sit down, conjure a relaxing place, and inhale and exhale ten deep breaths. Constantly being on the go can make you feel less in touch with the inherent joy of this season.
2. Keep to some kind of routine.
Holidays also mean a time to relax. Work hours tend to surge right before the holidays but so do work parties and social gatherings. All of these can break healthy routines such as going to the gym or relaxing at night before you go to sleep. Try to maintain some sense of your norm as you move through the season. This will allow for you to keep pace with your lifestyle as you enter the New Year and help you see what adjustments to make for a healthier 2013.
3. Refresh the true spirit of the holidays.
Although this season can certainly be stressful, the holiday season exists to celebrate love and joy. Even if you are stressed, remind yourself of what actually matters in the larger picture. Will it really matter if presents are not perfectly wrapped?
4. Build in time for activities that you have to do but may not want to.
Obligations abound throughout the holiday season. Maybe you feel obligated to attend the neighbor’s Christmas party or the one for work. Or, you feel pressure to spend extra time with your in-laws. Whatever the source of a more stressful obligation, try to find something positive to focus on before you arrive and then schedule the amount of time you will stay. Both will offer you a sense of control and allow you to feel more at ease.
5. Remind yourself of moderation.
Imbibing in “extras” is part of the holidays! We gather for large dinners, have chocolate and desserts, and also tend to drink more as part of the festive spirit. We also spend more than we should on that perfect gift for our loved ones. All of this makes for celebration but remembering moderation is also key. Create a budget and stick to it. Have one piece of chocolate instead of two. Eat slowly and notice when you are full before you take a second helping.
All of these suggestions are simple, but they add up to a more balanced holiday season.
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