It’s called the “most wonderful time of the year,” but that doesn’t mean the holidays can’t be plenty stressful. From hosting friends and family to finding the perfect gifts to keeping up with overbooked calendars, it’s pretty easy to get stressed out during the holiday season. But all that stress isn’t doing any good to your health – physically, mentally or emotionally! Here are a few ways to reduce stress and keep yourself healthier during the holidays.
Take a Break
Among the hubbub of the season, it can be difficult to have those feelings of “peace on earth, good will toward men” all the time. If you’re feeling especially uncheerful, take a time out. Schedule an evening, day or afternoon (or five) to relax, read a good book, take a nap or just disappear for a while. It’s okay; the holidays will go on even if you’re taking a break.
Don’t Feel Obligated
Sifting through Pinterest posts or rifling through a Martha Stewart magazine might make you feel like you need to up your holiday game (and make you feel like a loser for using canned cranberry sauce). Stop those feelings of guilt and inadequacy now! Remember that there’s nothing you “should” or “shouldn’t” do during the holidays. These days are to be celebrated, so enjoy them – your way!
Don’t Be a Slave to Tradition
Traditions can also give you those feelings of obligation, and sometimes, we don’t even really enjoy the traditions we feel we “have” to do. Really, who even eats fruitcake? It’s okay to forgo old traditions or forge new ones! In fact, it can be a fun and rewarding activity for you and your family to create some new holiday traditions everyone enjoys.
It’s really hard to feel crabby when you’re helping someone else. This holiday season, take some time to focus on other people; make cookies for a neighbor, volunteer at a soup kitchen or buy a coffee for the person in line behind you. Giving and serving is a natural stress-reliever. Try it!
Too busy making everything perfect to enjoy the party? Give it up and just have a good, merry time! If the cider gets cold or the trash gets full, who cares? Take the time to dance, play games and enjoy yourself. You’ll feel a lot less stressed!
How do you deal with holiday stress?