Holiday Stress? Top Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season.
The holidays that bring us joy and togetherness can also cause hectic schedules, financial pressure and frazzled nerves. With a little self-care and forethought, you can head off the stress that could derail your holiday mood.
Keep it real. Be realistic about your holiday expectations. A party, holiday meal or family gathering doesn’t need to be perfect to be fun and memorable. If we expect too much of ourselves or others, it is a set-up for disappointment. When you release yourself from the pressure of making every detail perfect, you have the freedom to truly enjoy the time spent with friends and loved ones.
Plan ahead. Don’t feel like you have to “do it all.” Prioritize your sanity and only participate in the activities that are the most meaningful to you. As you put the events on your calendar, also set aside specific times for the shopping, cooking, cleaning and wrapping needed to prepare for these events. Budget your spending for celebrations up front to avoid money headaches later. Decide how much you can afford before you go gift or food shopping, then stick to the budget.
Maintain a healthy balance. Try to sleep and eat as regularly as possible through the season. You can support healthy sleep patterns by limiting alcohol and caffeine intake. When you know you are likely to indulge in holiday treats, make healthy food choices earlier in the day to balance it out. And don’t forget exercise. Getting your body moving, even if it’s only for 15 to 20 minutes a day, releases stress, clears your mind and renews your spirit.
Be present. When the activities are finally underway, really enjoy them. Allow the planning and preparation worries to fall away and actively tune in to the conversations and people around you. Nurturing relationships and creating memories are the best part of the holiday season.