Don't let the holidays stress you out. While you may be thinking about the gifts you need to buy, scheduling family time, and who is going to make what for dinner, it's more important to enjoy your holiday celebrations. This article has 7 great ways that could help you get through the holiday season without giving in to your holiday stress.
1.Lower your expectations
We all have expectations about how our holiday will turn out. Maybe you expect to have the perfect Christmas dinner with all your family present — but what happens when grandma gets sick? Or mom has to work late? Or someone else is coming down with the flu?
All these things can cause major setbacks in our lives and make us feel like we've failed at making everyone happy. But lowering our expectations helps us keep things more calm during the holidays. Although it might not be quite as exciting as what we had imagined, it'll still be fun. And if anything goes wrong, we'll still have each other, no one will ever be alone on Christmas Day!
- Schedule time to relax
You can do this by scheduling an hour-long nap when you can. Studies have shown that naps can improve your productivity and alertness in the afternoon and evening. Make sure it's the right kind of nap for you, though. A midday catnap won't do much for your memory or ability to focus, whereas an afternoon power nap might be more helpful for improving your ability to keep up with information and staying on task. If possible, try to set aside at least two hours for your nap (you'll probably want to wake up refreshed).
Another way is to schedule some time after work for dinner with friends or family members who cheer you up (or just make dinner together). If you're feeling overwhelmed by holiday stressors, having someone around who knows how hard things have been lately can help put things into perspective.
- Don’t forget about your health
The holiday season is a stressful time for most of us, but you should not forget about your health. You can do this by being mindful of your diet. A good diet is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and will help keep you from developing chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Aim for a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources (such as fish or poultry) and healthy fats such as olive oil or nuts. You'll also want to cut back on junk food, sugary drinks and alcohol.
Additionally, don't forget to exercise. Not only will regular exercise help prevent weight gain and improve your overall health, but it can also help ease symptoms of everyday stress such as fatigue, irritability and anxiety — even during the holidays! Try to work out at least 30 minutes per day if possible, more than that is even better! If you're not accustomed to working out regularly, start slowly by doing 10 minutes three times per week then increase over time until you reach at least 30 minutes three times a week.
- Try taking a deep breath
Whether you're trying to keep your cool at the mall or in your own home, taking a moment to breathe deeply can help you gain perspective on the situation at hand.
When we feel stressed, our bodies enter fight-or-flight mode, which means our heart rate increases and our muscles tense up. This is an automatic response that happens when we perceive a threat or danger. But it's also what causes us to feel overwhelmed and overstimulated when there's no real threat present. When this happens, we might find ourselves feeling like we can't catch our breath, or acting out of character because we're so worked up about something that isn't even real!
When we take time out for some deep breaths, though? We can actually calm down and get back into balance with ourselves again. So if you're feeling overwhelmed during the holidays, try taking some time to focus on your breathing. It'll surely help ease your stress levels so you can enjoy yourself more!
- Less presents, more presence
The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and celebration, but they can also be stressful if you're not prepared. If you're like most people, the pressure to make things perfect for your family (and for everyone else) can be overwhelming. It's easy to feel like there's no way you'll have enough time or money to get everything done. And then there's the pressure from other people who expect you to put on a good show—even though you're probably feeling less than festive this year.
Less presents means less pressure on yourself to buy gifts for everyone in your life. You don't have to rush out and try to find the perfect present for each person on your list (which is impossible anyway). Instead, you can focus on spending time with those people who matter most to you without worrying about what they want or need from life.
When you're present for others' lives instead of trying to control them through gifts, it allows everyone involved to relax into their true selves. This makes for better relationships overall!
- You can say no
There are benefits to this one of them is it can help you prioritize your time. If you're busy with work or family obligations, then saying no will help ensure that those things are prioritized over other activities like shopping or baking cookies.
Another is saying no can help you save money and not just by helping avoid impulse purchases! Saying no will also keep tabs on your spending habits so that they're more consistent with what's affordable for your family and lifestyle.
More importantly, saying no helps you set boundaries between personal time and professional time, a balance that's important for maintaining a healthy work/life balance during the holidays as well as year-round!
- Practice gratitude
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, take some time to practice gratitude. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life and how much you have going for you, you can maintain a positive mindset that will help you survive the hectic season.
Gratitude is the act of appreciating what we have, instead of focusing on what we don't have or what's missing from our lives. When we practice gratitude, we open ourselves up to more positivity in our lives because it helps us focus on the good things that are already present in our lives instead of dwelling on the negative things that might not be there yet (or ever).
With this, by practicing gratitude throughout the holidays, you'll be able to better manage stress levels as well as enjoy yourself more fully during this special time of year.
Ultimately, learning to control holiday stress is an important life skill to learn. Whether you're organizing your own holiday or helping someone else with theirs, it's important to keep a level head. Even if you believe that the holidays are a time of year not to be taken seriously, stress can still be a big problem for everyone involved. If you'd like a little help with staying sane, check out these helpful tips for controlling holiday stress.
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