While ‘tis the season to be merry, for many of us, it’s also a season for stress, anxiety, and angst. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays. To help you with the holiday season, I’ve put together 7 tips to relieve holiday stress.
Take Quick Relaxation Breaks
The holidays can be a constant swell of family get-togethers, school recitals, office parties, and gift buying. Yet during the constant rush of the day, try to find time to take small breaks – even five minutes – where you can be calm and relaxed. No matter your schedule or deadline you should never push yourself into a frenzy. And taking time out for some “me time” is the best gift you can give yourself.
I’ve written extensively about gratitude before and it’s so important to have an “attitude of gratitude” during the holidays. For example, instead of looking at your pushy aunt with disdain, put yourself in her shoes and realize she’s just trying to be helpful. The way you approach problems can have a big self-impact on your level of stress and happiness this holiday season.
While it may seem contradictory to exercise more when you feel like you have less time during the day, studies have shown that people who make time for exercise have significantly decreased amounts of stress. Exercise makes you feel good. It lowers your stress and even helps you sleep at night. So make a point to be active this time of year.
Avoid Empty-Calorie Treats
You’ll be your most energetic, focused and happy self when you avoid sugary and calorie-dense Christmas treats. Instead of picking up that second (or third) cookie, pick up a stick of celery instead. You’ll thank yourself later.
Be Realistic With Your Goals
Being realistic sometimes means writing your goals down. After putting pen to paper, you may find that your to-do list may be more manageable, or it might turn out to be unbearable. Find what works best for you – and if you can’t reach your goals for the day – find out what you need to delay to ease some of that holiday stress.
One of the best ways to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to act generously with your loved ones, co-workers, and friends. This doesn’t have to mean you’re spending a lot of money. You can be generous with your compliments. The point is that you’re being real, heartfelt, and kind. Sometimes it’s the best gift you can give someone during this hectic time of year.
Avoid Extremes – Small Portions Are Best
During the holidays, it’s easy to “fall off the wagon” and imbibe too much food, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine. Don’t make special exceptions because “it’s the holidays” – just be exceptionally vigilant and know your weaknesses.
Was this list helpful? What are some things you do to help you avoid the stress of the holidays? I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to subscribe below to receive more helpful tips straight to your inbox.