Combat Holiday Stress
While holidays are usually filled with lots of fun and memories, they also tend to be very stressful. The amount of energy and time put into buying Christmas gifts, attending social functions, and the entertainment of friends and family members can be overwhelming. In fact, a study conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that seven out of ten persons experienced higher levels of stress during the holidays. In light of the above, we have put together a list of eight stress relief tips for you during the holidays.
1. Prepare A Holiday Budget
It’s almost impossible for you not to spend excessively during the holidays. As a matter of fact, most of the stress experienced during the holidays can be traced to your finances. Hence, setting a limit to your spending can go a long way in reducing your stress level.
To prevent excess spending during the holiday season, you have to start planning in advance, as well as review your finances and map out a feasible plan. Also, don’t allow yourself to be pressured into spending more than you have budgeted. It will even be better if you can sit your family and friends down, and let them know how much you are willing to spend for a party or gift item. In addition, you can think of a quality gift that you don’t really have to spend much money on. For instance, elderly parents will most likely appreciate the gift of time more than a fancy gift item.
2. Exercise Frequently
With the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season, exercising is the last thing you will think of. However, you have to realize that exercises give you an active mind, which will help you combat stress.
Fitness activities promote the production of endorphins, which are the hormones that act as painkillers in the brain. This hormone stimulates a feeling of excitement in the body and reduces the feeling of stress and anxiety. It is very understandable that you might be busy and have little or no time for exercise during the holidays. However, you can always squeeze out at least 30 minutes to perform any fitness exercise. Simply taking a walk, jog or swim can be a very efficient way of relieving the stress of the holidays.
3. Take A Break
Spending just fifteen to twenty minutes alone will help you beat holiday stress. During this time, you can carry out any activity you love such as: reading a book, meditating and listening to your favorite songs. This simple action can make a world of difference during the holidays when you have to manage a lot of activities.
Also, if you find some activities very overwhelming and stressful, you can take a short break of about five minutes to help calm your nerves. Taking slow and steady breaths can reduce your level of frustration while you queue up at a supermarket or drugstore.
Furthermore, things can quickly get out of hand while catching up with old friends during the holidays. Some unpleasant memories and habits may be awoken. Hence, you can always excuse yourself from a gathering that’s unconducive for you.
4. Pick Your Battles
The truth is, everyone has a unique personality, and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it can be stressful dealing with some people. You might get easily offended by the action or inaction of friends and family. However, do not let this get to you. The holiday season is not a period for you to get into heated arguments and fights – you must try to make peace with everyone around you. No doubt, a mind filled with grudges and resentment can hardly be at peace.
Furthermore, if you can master the science of agreeing to disagree, you will save yourself from a lot of headaches. If a conversation is offensive to you, try to redirect it to something you are comfortable with. Do not allow the words or actions of others to steal your joy and peace of mind.
5. Work With Others
Holidays are particularly stressful because you have to welcome a number of out-of-town visitors and host festivities for your family and friends. Instead of canceling your entire plan to avoid stress, just ensure the plans are feasible. It’s easy to get worked up while trying to organize the most memorable event. But, in reality, everything can never be perfect and you have to accept that fact.
Additionally, you have to quit the “do-it-yourself” mentality. This will help you save energy and time. For example, if you are planning a party and you have friends and family around, get them actively involved in the whole process. Some persons can be in charge of setting up sound systems while others cater for drinks and food. This way, you won’t easily get frustrated with the stress involved in organizing and miss the essence of the party – having fun with loved ones.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is a stress relief strategy that will help calm your body and mind after a long day. As a matter of healthy practice, try to sleep for at least three hours at night. This can be a good time to forget about all the activities going on around you. And when you finally wake up, you will be reinvigorated for the task ahead.
It’s common for you to stay up late when catching up with old friends and reliving childhood memories. Even though it’s quite difficult to do, excuse yourself from the party or chattering and get some sleep. Your friends and family will be grateful afterward if you don’t turn into a killjoy due to sleeplessness. Also, if you are experiencing sleeplessness due to a change in the environment, you can get a white noise machine or anything that will help you sleep better.
7. Get Professional Help If Necessary
Even after trying every tip mentioned in this article, you may still find yourself stressed out, sleepless and anxious during the holidays. If these conditions persist, you should consider talking to a doctor, because it might be a symptom of mental illness.
Everyone needs a helping hand at one time or another; so, you don’t necessarily have to isolate yourself completely from your loved ones if you are depressed. See the holidays as a period to reconnect with people around you. Being open to assistance from friends and family can go a long way in helping you combat holiday stress. And even if they can’t really help you relieve the stress and anxiety, they can help you see the situation in a clearer perspective. This way, you are better prepared for the stress darts life throws at you.