With the holidays rapidly approaching it is apparent that some of us are already feeling the strain from holiday stress. The holidays are meant to be a time of peace and joy among everyone as we enjoy time with family or enjoy a break from the constant stressors of life. However, for a lot of us, the holidays bring a unique set of stresses. What then can we do to prevent this stress from starting in the first place, or how do we cope with the stress that has already begun plaguing us?
Holiday stress can begin from any combination of things including holiday shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining guests and much more. How then are we able to properly manage our stress levels throughout this season to ensure that we don’t overwhelm ourselves?
• Be realistic – It’s very easy to fall into the trap of saying, “everything has to be perfect for the holidays!” This can be especially true if you are having guests at your home. Remind yourself that perfection isn’t possible and aim to embrace your time with the people you care for rather than filling your list with unrealistic expectations.
• Budget well – The holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year for excess spending, If you don’t have a solid plan in place for spending, the added stress of calculating a budget last minute can bring unnecessary stress to you and your family. Rather than worrying about how much you are spending on your loved ones, plan ahead, follow a strict budget, and watch as your stress melts away like the snow.
• Learn to say no – Attending events that matter to you and your loved ones is important but attending too many and overextending yourself can have a negative impact on your health and sanity. Try and budget your time every bit as well as you are budgeting your money. Say no and prioritize your event list and say yes to relaxation and rejuvenation.
• Slow down – Stay present during your holiday celebrations. By overexerting your energy and attention, you are missing out on the heart of the holiday season. Slow down and pace yourself. Take each day, each minute, as it comes and enjoy it. Don’t look too far ahead and miss what is happening right in front of you.
If prevention isn’t an option for you because you are already overloaded with stress, don’t worry. Just like the tips to prevent stress, there are tips to manage the stress you are already experiencing.
• Get rest – Whether you should be sleeping more hours at night or taking a quick nap during the day. The proper amount of rest is important for getting relief from your day-to-day holiday stress.
• Exercise and meditate – Take time to focus on your physical health, which in turn, can benefit your mental health. Exercising and meditating can provide a healthy and necessary break from the craziness of the holidays.
• Listen to music – Get into the holiday spirit with some relaxing and uplifting music to bring more joy into your season! Music can help relieve the tension from holiday stress and refocus our minds in a positive way.
• Laugh more – They say that laughter is the best medicine, for the holidays- it is a fact. Laughter is an amazing source of stress relief and can help you get back to feeling relaxed and happy this holiday season!
• Talk to others – If you are struggling with stress this season, TALK ABOUT IT! Being honest with others about what is going on in your life is important. The creative minds that surround you may be able to provide you with appropriate solutions for managing your stress or relieving you from some of it themselves.
Overall, the holidays are meant to be a time where we enjoy time with the people we care for. It should not be a time that stress bogs us down. Fight back against the stressors with these tips and ensure that your holiday is filled with peace, joy, and a lot of relaxation!