Tips for More Holiday Joy, Less Holiday Stress

Nov 29, 2017

Christmas Stress picThe Holidays are fast-approaching.  Does that make you feel joyful or stressed?

Remember being a kid?  The thought of holiday fun dominated everything from the day after Halloween til the New Year.  The anticipation of first snow, the Santa Claus Parade, family get-togethers and parties was incredible.  And yet as adults, these same activities often seem like so much work it can be overwhelming.

If you are feeling stressed and anxious at the thought of the holidays coming, here are some healthy, long-lasting, simple tips to help you get the most joy out of this holiday season.

Manage your schedule

  • Planning ahead will help prevent last minute scrambling during the holiday season (and middle of the night stress “I can’t believe I forgot to get a gift for Aunt Martha”).
  • Set priorities and let go of impossible goals (turn off the Holiday Decorating Ideas feed on Pinterest).
  • Be sure to schedule time for yourself and understand that it is okay to say no to events or activities so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Just because you ALWAYS have done something, doesn’t mean you ALWAYS HAVE to do it. It may be time to let some things go.

Keep moving

  • During this busy season, exercise might be the last thing on your mind but staying active and moving will help to elevate your mood and reduce both physical and mental stress.  Schedule in time to move, even if it means short walks after dinner or making modifications to your schedule to squeeze in that yoga class.  Plan ahead and make the time for it.  Your brain and body will thank you!

Get adequate sleep

  • Prioritize and maintain your regular sleep schedule. Sleep patterns can get thrown off during the holidays which can impact your ability to cope with stress. Sleep deprivation can lead to mood changes and nobody wants to turn into the Grinch during the holidays.

Self care.  Self care. Self care.

  • Take care of your mind, body and soul so that you can be in the right frame of mind to enjoy the holidays. If you still have healthcare benefits for the year, use them now.  An hour massage can go a long way to improving your overall state of mind.  If you don’t have benefits left, bundle up and get outside or make time for some relaxing yoga.
  • Need a quick self-care fix?  Find a quiet space, dim the lights and take a few minutes to quietly meditate and to simply breathe or stretch.
  •         Plan so that throughout the year ahead, you have scheduled YOU time, in whatever form that takes!  Book your              wellness routine in advance and put it in the calendar each month…. take the bath, do the workout, read the book!