A late Thanksgiving seemed to accelerate us into the holiday season this year. As we now find ourselves well into the holidays, it can lead to many of us feeling rushed or unprepared. While the holidays can be a fun and exciting time to spend with friends and family, it can also be a busy and stressful time.
Here are seven tips to prevent holiday stress (adapted from an article written by the Mayo Clinic):
- Be realistic – The holidays don’t have to be perfect. While some traditions continue, perhaps there has been a recent marriage in the family and some time will be spent away with their in-laws. Accept that things will come up and find ways to celebrate together, even if it means making some adjustments to your current traditions. For example, you can celebrate together using video chat such as FaceTime or sharing pictures and videos, even if you are separated geographically.
- Set aside differences – Given the current political climate, it may be best to set those conversations aside over the holidays and accept friends and family members as they are. It’s best to focus on the positives and maximize the time you have with family and friends.
- Remember your budget – Before you go shopping for gifts or for food when you are entertaining, decide how much you can afford to spend and stick to it. If you’re looking to reduce costs, some ideas include having a potluck-style holiday party, doing gift exchanges, or donating an amount to a charity in someone’s name instead of buying expensive gifts. Additionally, be mindful of how much is being spent on online shopping as it can quickly add up with the touch of a button.
- Plan ahead – Try not to over-schedule your time and know that saying no is OK. Plan your shopping ahead of time to avoid having to make multiple trips to the store.
- Keep your healthy habits – We all know there tends to be more sweets and unhealthy foods and drinks at our disposal around the holidays. Try to have fun without over-indulging. You can also continue to incorporate physical activity to each day or have a healthy snack before heading to a holiday party.
- Find “me” time – Be sure to make time for yourself. Find what works for you to help reduce stress and clear your mind. Suggestions include getting some fresh air by taking a walk at night or near the ocean. If going to the spa is your ideal method of relaxation, you may want to get a massage as well.
- Acknowledge your feelings and reach out – While many people are busy during the holidays, some may feel lonely. You may be going through the holidays without loved ones and it’s OK to take time to acknowledge these feelings. You may want to seek out community or social events for support and companionship. Volunteering may also help lift your spirits.
You can take control of the holidays to help better enjoy this special time of year. We hope these tips help you find peace and joy during the holidays and we want you to have a healthy and happy New Year!
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