5 Tips to Help Handle Stress During the Holidays
Five tips to help handle stress during the holidays
The holidays can certainly be a time for joyous celebrations full of glad tidings and cheer. However, for many, this jolly season might also cause stress, heighten anxiety or bring on feelings of depression.
It doesn’t have to, though, experts, including those at the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins University, say. There are a number of steps people can take to de-stress in the weeks leading up to the New Year.
Here are a few to helpful tips to make your December merry and bright:
Keep moving – While you definitely don’t have to adhere to your normal gym routine, it’s still a good idea to get moving during this time of year.
Fortunately, physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous to reap the benefits, mentally or physically, and with all the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s not as difficult as one might think to fit it into an already jam-packed schedule.
Walking around the neighborhood to look at lights is sure to rosy your cheeks while scaling a snowy hill to sled down it will definitely get your heart pumping. Dance parties in the living room to NSYNC’s Christmas album in your P’tula Stealth leggings will boost the endorphins of even the Grinch of the family.
Try to curb overindulgence – One of the best parts about the holidays is the delicious food we get to consume so eating a second slice of Grandma’s pecan pie or trying every appetizer at neighbor’s Christmas gathering is something that can be a source of great joy.
But if you don't wish to overindulge on our favorite holiday treats as that can leave us feeling bloated and fatigued, not to mention dealing with unwanted weight gain come January.
It can be a smart idea to eat a light meal before attending a party and you can make sure to fill your plate when there with plenty of veggies and fruits, too. Drinking lots of water helps as well.
Overindulging can also happen when it comes to alcohol or finances this time of year so be sure to set realistic limits there, too.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries – It may be tempting to RSVP yes to every holiday function, from baking for a holiday cookie swap to decorating a community float for a winter parade to attending a niece’s Christmas pageant. However, it is OK to say no to some activities, especially if you begin feeling overwhelmed when looking at your full calendar.
Obligations to family, friends and work colleagues may seem unending this time of year, but most people understand why you might have to leave an event early or skip it entirely as long as you're honest with them.
Practice gratitude – During a time of year when it can be stressful looking at everyone else’s perfect trees or family photos, especially on social media, it can be easy to lose sight of what all you might have to be grateful for in 2021.
There can be so many beautiful sights and sounds happening around us – like children's laughter at decorating a messy gingerbread house – that it’s important to take time to focus on those.
People can practice gratitude by connecting with loved ones, volunteering or donating to a charity or simply committing random acts of kindness.
Also, embracing imperfection can allow us to be happy in the season with all that we do have. Taking a break from Instagram and other social media can also relieve this pressure.
Be present and mindful – Take time away from work if you’re able and definitely, put away the phone as much as you can. The holidays should be fun and provide an opportunity to relish in what made them so special as a child.
So start a snowball fight with your kids (wearing the P’tula pom pom beanie, of course) when the inevitable snow day hits or take the afternoon off from responsibilities to go ice skating with friends.
And perhaps, most importantly, take moments for yourself – for a quick breathing exercise, a hot bath or chance to sing loudly to a favorite Christmas carol – when you begin to find it difficult to be present or feel overwhelmed by the busyness of the holidays.