The holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but they can be very stressful. Instead of rushing to get gifts, decorate, bake, visit family, and do everything that the holiday season entails, use these tips to reduce stress during the holidays.
4 Ways to Reduce Stress During the Holidays
Your to-do list seems to grow every day from the middle of October to the beginning of January. Instead of trying to do everything, decide what’s important to you and your family.
Have a discussion with your family, which can include your spouse, children, and extended family. Express that you feel overwhelmed and want to reduce your stress this year so you can all focus on enjoying the holidays instead of rushing around.
Then decide which holiday traditions and events are significant to your family, and don’t do the rest. Even if it’s been a family tradition for years, if no one truly enjoys it, then it no longer serves its purpose.
Don’t be afraid to get rid of old traditions and replace them with new ones that are less stressful and more fun for everyone!
Know When to Say No
You’ll be invited to several holiday parties, each one needing a dish, a fancy outfit, and possibly even a gift. While it’s nice to see your friends and acquaintances during the holidays, it’s also okay to say no. Decide which engagements are essential to you and decline the rest.
On the same note, don’t be afraid to tell your child’s room mom or coach that you can not commit to providing snacks or a craft for a party. If you still want to contribute, consider buying a premade snack so you can save time baking something.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to practice self-care all the time, but it should be a priority during the holidays. It’s a busy time, but don’t feel guilty about stopping by the gym on your regular schedule.
If you don’t already use the gym, consider taking a walk or exercising in another way. Not only will you boost your health, but you’ll get some valuable alone time to think and reduce everyday stress.
Likewise, it’s essential to continue to eat reasonably healthy every day. The trays of delicious appetizers will be tempting you, and the drink table will no doubt be filled with high-calorie drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.
It’s okay to enjoy some holiday treats, but try not to overdo it, especially if you’re eating as a side effect of anxiety. Eating unhealthy and drinking too much can make you feel tired and sluggish. Instead, limit your treats and choose them wisely (eat your favorites, only!)
Donate or Give
The holidays are an excellent opportunity to help those that are less fortunate. Consider starting a new tradition in your family to sponsor a child or family in need. You’ll spend quality time together choosing a gift, wrapping it, and delivering it.
If you can’t donate gifts, consider donating your time (just as long as the activity won’t add to your stress levels). You can shop for an elderly neighbor, clean a neighbor’s yard or house, or donate at a food bank.
You’ll feel better knowing that you helped someone, and feeling good about yourself can be a great stress reliever.
The holidays should be a fun time with friends and family. Use these tips to reduce stress during the holidays so you can enjoy yourself while still experiencing the magic of the season!