The holiday season can be one of the best times of the year, but it can also be the most stressful. Shopping for gifts, holiday parties and time with family can take a toll on your mental and emotional health and leave you with little time to relax and enjoy the festivities.
Follow these tips to help you avoid stress during the holidays:
• Plan ahead—Waiting until the last minute to purchase gifts, plan a party or send out greeting cards is bound to make you feel stressed. Give yourself plenty of time to complete your to-do list in case the crowds are large and the lines are long.
• Watch your finances—It can be tempting to overspend on the perfect gift for someone. But if that means your finances will suffer, it is not worth it. Set spending limits for yourself and stick to them.
• Adjust your expectations—You will not be able to make it to every party or purchase the perfect gift for everyone. Holding yourself to impossibly high standards is the best way to generate stress. Remind yourself to manage expectations and let go of any guilt.
An important part of the season is allowing yourself time to relax and really enjoy it. Here are some easy ways to take a breather and help you keep everything in perspective.
• Exercise—Keeping up your regular exercise routine during the festive season will help you relieve stress in a healthy way.
• Eat well—Overindulgence is often expected this time of year, whether it is too many sweets or too much alcohol. Maintain a good balance of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
• Avoid sugar and caffeine—Both may give you energy, but that energy will be short-lived and may make you more irritable or tired.
• Get plenty of sleep—Sleep is often the first thing people sacrifice during busy times. Allow yourself plenty of time to sleep every night.
Staying positive during a potentially stressful time will help you carry the warmth of the holidays into the new year.