Seven Tips for Beating Holiday Stress
Thanksgiving is just days away, marking the official beginning of the holiday season.
And while it should be a jolly, festive time, for many of us it’s a season riddled with anxiety. Too much to do, the pressure to give gifts, the burden of attending countless get-togethers, and a shortage of money can all create elevated stress levels That leads to a recipe for bad behaviors we’re sure to regret later, such as overeating, drinking too much alcohol, or arguing with loved ones. Ensure your holiday season is a happy one by following these seven strategies to relieve holiday stress:
1. Don't overschedule. If you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed by your holiday agenda, don't overschedule your time and take on more than you can manage. Remember, it’s OK to slow down a bit.
2. Limit comfort foods and drinks. During the holidays, it’s easy to use—or over-use—alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Think about what you’re eating and drinking, and limit your consumption of calorie-laden pleasure foods.
3. Forget perfection. Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Don't sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable.
4. Be sure to laugh. Don't neglect whatever cracks you up! Laughter reduces stress hormones and helps immune cells function better. Take time to catch a funny movie or TV show.
5. Make time for you. Our normal routines often go out the window during the holidays. Stick to your exercise regimen, eat healthy meals, and get plenty of rest. Care for your body and your mind. Silence negative thinking and focus on your bliss. Allow time to reflect, relax, and recharge.
6. Express gratitude. Telling others you care about and value them can do wonders to alleviate anxiety. Think of all the reasons that you’re grateful to your family and friends, and recount the happy memories you’ve shared over the years. It’s sure to make you happier and more relaxed.
By becoming more mindful of your holiday experience, you can fully enjoy this fabulous, festive time of year.