Check out these tips to help you beat the stress this holiday season.
Life is hectic enough on a normal day. Between work duties and family commitments, your schedule is already jam-packed. Now add in extra holiday parties, Christmas shopping, and all the other small chores you do that make the holidays so busy and it would drive anybody crazy. But guess what- it doesn’t have to be this way!
You don’t have to go to every holiday gathering you are invited to. It’s ok to skip gatherings and only go to the ones that mean the most to you. Simply (and politely) say that you have other plans. Everyone understands that this is a busy time of year. No one has to know that your “other plans” might include watching your favorite TV show in your pajamas (I won’t tell if you don’t).
Does looking at your to-do list give you an anxiety attack? If so, it’s time to cut down your list by delegating tasks and enlisting help. If life still feels overwhelming, permit yourself to tone down your plans. Put up fewer decorations, get take-out on the way home instead of cooking, turn down that invitation. Doing so will give you realistic goals that you can accomplish and teach others to respect your time.
Don’t let the pressure to “keep up with the Jones’” this holiday season lead to stress and money worries in the new year. The easiest way to reduce financial stress is to be aware of your spending and plan so you don’t spend beyond your means.
It can be tempting to use your credit card to give your loved ones the perfect Christmas gifts; however, doing so will lead to financial strain after the holiday season. The financial burden is not worth the months (or years) it will take to pay off that credit card.
Instead of burying yourself in credit card debt, try making a homemade gift or suggesting a type of gift exchange so you don’t have to buy something for everyone in your group. This time of year is not about gifts, but showing those in your life how much they mean to you.
If you truly want to tap into the spirit of the holidays, try volunteering and giving back to your community. There are always numerous volunteer opportunities this time of year such as collecting clothing for a coat drive, donating food to the less fortunate, or even volunteering to ring the bell for the Salvation Army donations. Whatever you choose to do, let it fill your heart with joy knowing you are making a difference.
Your holidays should not be so busy that you neglect your mental and physical health. They should be at the top of your to-do list. You may have to get creative, but you should still get plenty of exercise. Going for a walk or doing an at-home workout is a free, and almost instant, mood booster. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, moving your body will only be beneficial to you.
Find a healthy activity that helps you unwind and relieve stress. Read, listen to music, or write in a journal. Do what works for you and your body will thank you.
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