Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation, a time to reconnect with family and friends, a time to recharge spiritually and emotionally. But so often, we lose sight of the true meaning of the season because we are overwhelmed by it all.

Traveling, cooking, shopping, decorating … these things are impossible to enjoy if they are causing us stress and anxiety. Here are some tips to help you focus on what’s important and catch a little bit of that elusive holiday spirit instead of that holiday letdown.

Don’t over-commit:From family get-togethers to school parties to neighborhood celebrations, you probably have more social obligations that usual. Don’t offer to bake cookies for 40 if you really don’t have time. Do what you can (within your comfort zone) to help others, but it’s also okay to nicely say “no.”

Set a budget and stick to it:Shopping can be extremely exhausting, especially when you’re adding teachers and co-workers to the list. And there’s nothing worse than thinking you’re finished only to keep adding more names to the list. You know your budget. Don’t break the bank just to make everyone happy. Beyond family and close friends, consider simple gifts that aren’t too expensive: a Christmas ornament, home-baked goodies or a special framed photograph.

Practice healthy eating habits:Try not to overindulge on food or alcohol. Treat yourself, of course, but be choosy about what you eat at parties and social events.

Exercise:If you have a fitness plan, it will probably be hard to stick to it during the holidays, but at the very least, take a walk around the block each day to clear your head and get a little fresh air and exercise.

Don’t isolate yourself:For those who have lost loved ones, the holidays often bring up painful memories. Don’t turn down invitations from family and friends — it’s better to be with people when you’re having a difficult time getting through the holidays. And if you don’t have family or friends nearby, volunteer with a church or charitable organization to do something good for others.

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