Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, holiday stress – not necessarily a few of everyone’s favorite things. Many of us experience seasonal stress at holiday-time in a number of ways that may range from anxiety over picking out the perfect holiday gifts to dread about certain visiting relatives. When you create a strategy for handling seasonal stress, however, you stand a better chance of experiencing a holiday that’s actually merry and bright. Here are a few suggestions to help tame holiday-time stress.
Take a night off.
Do you know how to prepare for the annual holiday hustle and bustle? Make sure you include a weekly break. That’s right, if you know you are going to be running around shopping for gifts, going to parties and entertaining guests, it’s wise to go ahead and pencil in one night a week that is reserved just for you. No obligations or holiday to-do-lists, just an evening spent doing whatever you choose. And if you can’t spare an entire night, at least block a few hours every few days to rest and regain your focus.
Get some sleep.
Speaking of rest, make sure you get a lot of it. Not getting your 7-8 hours a night can turn you into a grinch — and then no one will want you at their holiday party! Be kind to yourself by getting plenty of shut-eye.
Plan to enjoy yourself.
For some of us, getting ready for the joys of the season means more hours on the treadmill or investing in pants with an elastic waist band. Whichever path you choose, go ahead and prepare a mindset that you will enjoy yourself during the season. If you are going to go all out, arm yourself with antacids or whatever strategy helps you feel better afterwards. If you want to ward off the extra holiday weight, sneak in a few extra workouts and follow a healthy holiday eating plan that helps you with food choices and portion sizes. Whatever your strategy, set your plan before the holidays and do your best to stick with it.
Overindulgence isn’t limited to food. Often it can apply to time spent with family, friends, or co-workers. Keep yourself sane this season by limiting your holiday interactions with any toxic people or folks who drain your energy. When you attend a co-worker’s party or Aunt Susan’s Thanksgiving dinner, prepare to excuse yourself when you have reached your limit. Commit that you will take good care of yourself.
Give yourself a gift.
Okay, the holiday season is a time for giving, but who says that doesn’t apply to treating yourself? Beat the holiday blues and prepare for seasonal stress by making time to enjoy the things you love most. Schedule a massage, a movie night or a long winter’s nap. Take time to enjoy a favorite holiday tradition like watching your favorite holiday-themed movie or singing along to holiday music in your living room at the top of your lungs. Do whatever you need to do to take the edge off of a hectic holiday.
The holidays will be a wrap before you know it, so make your own smart strategy to enjoy a stress-free season, moving into a happy new year!
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