It’s that time of year again. Time for sparkly lights, delicious food, and gifts under the tree. However, the holiday season isn’t always about all things merry and bright. For many people, Christmas can also come with a lot of heavy baggage, and we don’t mean cute gift bags either. Whether it’s the stress of having to deal with family, planning holiday parties, or trying to stay within a gift-giving budget, everyone deals with some sort of stress this time of year. While these stressors impact everyone differently we’ve got some excellent tips to help you keep the holiday stress at bay.
1. Learn To Say No!
The holidays can be incredibly busy. Between work parties, cookie exchanges, and gatherings with friends and family it can be quite overwhelming. Learning to prioritize which events are the most important and saying no to the rest can be a difficult task. We often worry that we are making others mad by declining their invites. Often this means sacrificing our mental health. Keep in mind that you are not responsible for how other people react. If politely declining their invite makes them angry, that is not your concern. Your only concern should be maintaining a healthy state of mind. Once you let go of the responsibility for other people’s reactions it becomes a lot easier to say no.
2. Maintain Healthy Habits
You’ve developed habits or rituals that you rely on as acts of self-care throughout the year. Just because it’s a busy season, that is no reason to abandon that self-care. The stressful season is all the more reason to continue with your healthy habits. For instance, if you are finding it difficult to make time for the gym, consider a session with a personal trainer at home. Feeling overwhelmed by your ever-growing to-do list? Meditate for ten minutes in the morning to help stay calm and focused. Making time for yourself and your healthy habits each day will go a long way to maintaining a healthy mindset this holiday season.
3. Plan Ahead
As we get deeper into the holiday season, calendars begin to fill up quickly. It can sometimes have you stressing over when you are going to make time for everything else that needs to happen. Taking the time to plan seemingly innocuous activities into your schedule will help avoid undue stress. Plan an afternoon for gift shopping and come prepared with your list so as to not forget anyone or anything. Plan your Christmas dinner menu and start your grocery list early. This will eliminate several shopping trips to pick up things you forgot the first time around. Make food items in advance if possible. Any advance preparations you can do will eliminate further anxiety down the line.
There are many ways you can reduce your stress levels this holiday season. Whether it’s a session with a virtual personal trainer, planning your Christmas dinner menu out in advance, or saying no to your book club’s Christmas luncheon. Using these helpful tips will stop holiday stress in its tracks, allowing you to enjoy a holly jolly Christmas.