” The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each other’s burdens, easing others loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays.”~ W.C. Jon
The holidays are a time for joy, celebration, and love but for many people, hectic schedules and holiday blues can make stress the predominant emotion of the season. In a year that s already been unusually stressful, the added chaos of holiday shopping and festivities or the sadness of not being able to celebrate with your usual traditions due to the pandemic may overshadow the magic of the season. While managing stress can be easier said than done, it’s essential for maintaining both your mental and physical
Feeling the stress of the holiday season beginning to creep in? Here are a few ways to keep it in check:
- Give yourself permission to say no. Whether you’re opting out of a family get-together because you d prefer to avoid travel or you simply don’t have time to attend a holiday event, remind yourself that it’s okay to say no. Overburdening yourself with commitments can lead to burnout and a feeling of resentment, so try to be honest about how much you’ll be able to handle before filling up your calendar.
- Maintain healthy habits. The holidays are a time of indulgence and particularly when you re feeling stressed, it can be tempting to adopt unhealthy eating or drinking habits, which ultimately leads to more stress and feelings of guilt. To avoid this negative cycle, be sure to get plenty of sleep, keep up with your exercise routine, and have healthy snacks before holiday meals so that you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
- Set aside differences you may have with friends or family. The possibility of conflict when gathering with friends or family members that you haven t seen in a while is a major cause of holiday season stress for many people. Whether you’re concerned that arguments may erupt over politics and current events or long-standing relationship disputes, resolving to accept your loved ones as they are and set aside grievances until a calmer time can help avoid conflicts and reduce stress.
- Stick to a budget. Excessive spending on holiday gifts can be a source of stress now and into the future. To avoid this, set a manageable budget for all of your holiday spending, and consider giving homemade gifts or offering your loved ones experiences or services in lieu of material goods.
- Take time for yourself. No matter how busy you are during the holidays, taking time for activities that you find relaxing and enjoyable is an essential way to minimize stress and find joy in the season. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day to meditate, read, or take a walk, stealing moments for yourself can help keep you equipped to handle the stresses of everyday life.