The holidays are an interesting time. It can be a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation. It can also be stressful. Holiday get-togethers can be loud and crowded.
Add to that the fact that you still resent what Uncle Bill did last Christmas, and the possibility that your cousin might have Covid-19, and the holidays just got even more stressful.
Holidays can also be expensive! The cost of gifts, travel, and extra food can really add up in a hurry.
Keep these tips in mind to help reduce holiday stress:
Take breaks as needed. Sometimes, a little family can go a long way. Family get-togethers can be wonderful, but they can also wear you out in a hurry.
● There’s no shame in taking a break and going for a walk, heading to the store, or finding a quiet place in the house to recharge your batteries.
Get some sun. The days are shorter in the northern hemisphere during the winter months. Many people are sensitive to not getting enough sunlight. Sit by a window with good sun exposure and get all the sunlight you can for an hour each day. You’ll feel less stressed. Use the time to read a book or make phone calls.
Eat well. With all the cookies, pies, candy, and other unhealthy foods so prevalent this time of year, it’s even more important to focus on your diet than usual. Eating a lot of junk food leads to a stressed body. Be kind to yourself and keep your food intake as healthy as possible.
Make the choice to be as happy as possible. Decide to enjoy the holidays as much as you can. Choose to be optimistic. Your attitude colors your perception.
● Expect good things to happen and you’ll be more likely to enjoy yourself.
Expect some chaos, too. The holidays bring chaos. Bad weather, more traffic, travel, crowds, and more people than you’re used to dealing with in your home.
● Expect that nothing will go as planned and decide to enjoy the holidays anyway. Chances are, things will turn out better than you thought they would.
Avoid scheduling too much. Trying to do too much can create stress regardless of the time of year.
● Plan to see the people that are most important to you and skip the rest.
● Give yourself days off.
● Only attend the parties that are most important to you. Strive for quality over quantity.
Be grateful. It’s easier to relax and enjoy yourself when you feel grateful. You worry less about the mishaps, inconveniences, and perceived slights when gratitude is in your heart. Remember, you have a lot to be grateful for!
Stay within your budget. The holidays are stressful enough without creating more stress by overspending. Avoid the trap of believing that you have to spend a lot of money to make someone happy. Gifts are soon forgotten, but the bills can last a long, long time.
Plan a day of rest. Plan days off during the holidays. Use this time however you please. You can do whatever you want with your day off. Consider giving yourself a day off before and after big get-togethers. You might need it!
Enjoy the holidays but do what you can to minimize the amount of stress involved. With careful planning and a little optimism, you can have a great holiday season that you’ll remember fondly for years to come. Make this holiday season the least stressful you’ve ever had.