Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tips For Reducing Stress During the Holidays {Part 1}

Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.  ~Author Unknown

Last year I did a post on Tip for Surviving the Holidays with Family. I think many of these tips are applicable in each of your lives (unless your family is, in fact, perfect!), so make sure to check them out!

Stress levels can easily sky-rocket during the holiday season, which can place further distress on our relationships. Today I want to pass along a few tips for reducing stress during the holidays.
  • Prioritize Your Activities! There are so many great activities this time of year in which to participate. Christmas movies, Christmas concerts, parties, gift exchanges, caroling, cooking decorating parties: you name it, it exists and you've probably been invited to it. You can't do everything, so prioritize and say "no" to those activities that don't make the cut. For the people pleaser, this is difficult, but remember that YOUR HEALTH is important (if you are a people pleaser, click here and scroll down to the "boundaries" category).
  • Make Sure To Take Your "Me" Time: While this is a good season to look outside ourselves, give to others, and celebrate with one another, it's important to get a few minutes every day for self care. The ability to recharge ourselves helps create a buffer against holiday stress, and increases our patience towards those around us. 
  • Maintain healthy habits: During holidays it's easy to give up exercise, healthy eating, and sleep. Doing that will certainly make you feel worse both physically and emotionally. Make sure to continue your healthy habits as much as possible, and remember that balance is important!
  • Set a budget for yourself: Our stress can increase if we dig ourselves into a financial mess. Be wise with your spending, and make sure you are careful on how you spend. If you are lonely or feeling "low" emotionally, there can be a temptation to buy "stuff" in order to cope. It might help in the moment, but will not actually help the situation, and put you in a bigger mess when it comes time to pay the bills. This can be a HUGE stressor for months following Christmas, so make this "tip" a priority. (This is also why I started this post with the quote above).
  • Release the expectation of a "perfect" holiday: Most of us imagine the holiday in a certain way. Even if it isn't "perfect", this imagination tends to become our expectation of what the holiday will be. To be healthy, it is important to let go of expectations for the "perfect" meal, the "perfect" gifts for families, the "perfect" decorations for the house, etc... Do your best, but don't kill yourself over trying to make everything about the holiday perfect. You (or your children) will more then likely remember how stressful it was over how fun it was. 
*Part 2 of this post will be coming later this week!

Now it's your turn:
How do you work on reducing the stress in any of the areas listed above? 

No comments:

Post a Comment