December 19, 2019

Keeping Stress Low at the Holidays

The holiday season can be stressful; read the full article for tips to manage your stress during this season.

We all know that the holidays can be a stressful time, for a wide range of reasons. However, there are things you can do to keep your stress at a reasonable level, even with all the activities, planning and family gatherings… or lack thereof.

During the holiday season, focus on positive intentions. For example, you might feel impatient with your loved ones. Try to focus on their intention. Most likely, their intention is coming from a loving place.

Here are some more tips to help you stay positive throughout the season:

  • Make time for exercise.
    Even if it’s just a 20-minute walk around the block, be sure to move your body. It can be a family activity after eating a big meal, or to look at the neighborhood holiday lights.
  • Set a spending budget.
    Avoid feeling financially stressed about the holidays by setting a budget that works for you, and sticking with it.
  • Take time for yourself.
    Even just five minutes to yourself can help you feel more centered. Don’t abandon healthy habits that make you feel grounded. Set aside 10 minutes in the morning to meditate, exercise, write in your journal, or take some quality time alone.
  • Eat healthy.
    Have a healthy snack before a large holiday meal so that you don’t overindulge.
  • Acknowledge your emotions.
    Holidays can be tough if someone close to you has recently died, or if you can’t be with loved ones. Family dynamics can also stir up negative emotions. Acknowledge your feelings, give yourself a safe space to express them, and reach out for support.
  • Practice an attitude of acceptance.
    Being stressed can contribute to tension between loved ones. Understand that those around you may also be feeling stress. Try to accept your loved ones for who they are, even if they aren’t meeting your expectations. If you want to talk about issues, set aside a better time to discuss these things. The best time may be after the holidays when people are more relaxed.
  • Forget perfection.
    The holidays are not going to be perfect. There will be things that do not go as planned. That’s okay! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are hosting an event or cooking a large meal, ask for help to reduce your workload.
  • Be generous.
    This doesn’t mean spending money. You can be generous by sharing a compliment or saying, “I’m so glad to be here with you,” or offer to help someone. Generosity leads to positivity and connection with those around you.
  • Be realistic.
    Learn to say no. You may not be able to attend every holiday event. Be sure to plan ahead by organizing your days to avoid overscheduling.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you stay calm, cool, and collected and enjoy your holiday season!