While the holidays were once a time of family togetherness and peaceful rejoicing, today's world has made it a frantic rush to host the perfect party and outdo relatives with gift selections. With holiday work events, family meals, and parties with friends, you may feel pulled in several directions asyour calendar quickly fills up. Alas, the stress begins. But what to do? Make sure you schedule time for yourself to relax and enjoy the season or you run the risk of over-stressing, losing sleep, and becoming so exhausted you get sick.
It can feel impossible to avoid stress during the holidays, but it isn't. There are many ways you can deal with stress or avoid it completely. With the right strategy and holiday battle plan, you're on your way to again enjoying the holidays as they're meant to be.
Tip 1 - Know your physical limitations
Being in more than one place at a time is impossible so don't commit to attending more events and parties than you can handle. Don't be afraid to say no to party invitations. You can politely decline by explaining that you want to go but simply don't have the time or ability.
Try to get your shopping done as early as possible. If that isn't feasible, don't stretch it out over several weeks because that puts a serious drain on your energy. If you're comfortable with online shopping then do so for as many gifts as you can. Online shopping will help you avoid lines and crowds with the added bonus that merchandise is often less expensive. Another great strategy is to enlist help for gift shopping to lighten your load.
If you extend yourself beyond your physical limitations, you can become too tired and stressed to care about the spirit of the season.
Tip 2 - Know your mental limitations
Throwing the best holiday event is a grand undertaking but it adds to holiday stress. The planning, preparation, and hosting are both mentally and physically exhausting. When you find yourself spinning in circles or staring blankly at your "to do" list, it's time to take a step back and mentally regroup. You still need to work and handle your daily responsibilities during the holidays and if you're too mentally exhausted and stressed, your performance suffers.
Tip 3 - Schedule "You Time"
One the best ways to cope with holiday stress is to schedule time to yourself. Turn all the holiday distractions, schedules, and responsibilities off for a while and just relax. Read a book, take a nap, soak in a hot bath, and make sure everyone knows not to disturb you. After this relaxation time, you'll feel rejuvenated and have more energy and motivation to face holiday tasks.
Tip 4 - Get enough sleep
Don't accept that you have to burn the candle at both ends to accomplish everything during the holidays. Inadequate sleep elevates stress levels and can lead to other health issues. Do your best to sleep the recommended amount every night or take small power naps when you have the opportunity.
Tip 5 - Eat healthy and exercise
You might be so busy during the holidays that you forget to eat regularly, which leads to overindulgence when you're stressed. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise to keep up your energy and metabolism. Don't feel guilty about enjoying holiday food, but balance it with proper nutrition when you're not at parties and events. Exercise burns calories and helps you sleep better and relax by reducing your overall stress levels.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year that should be enjoyed. If you take these simple steps to reduce your stress, you'll be in a better position to take part in the many traditions and festivities to make memories that will last a lifetime.
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