Time to spend time with family and loved ones, share tasty meals, exchange gifts and have a good time. We’re talking about the holiday season, of course.
Naturally, as they say, with the good times comes the stress. Alright, maybe that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but close enough, right?
There are many aspects of preparing and living through the holidays that might trigger unnecessary stress, and you might find yourself in the middle of a holiday meal, overwhelmed and wanting to scream.
We hope this advice might make it easier for you to escape any stressful situations.
Don’t take too much on and make a plan.
Rushing and racing is sometime unavoidable during the holidays, and maybe you accidentally take on more than you can comfortably do. The best way to avoid that happening from the start is making a list of everything you need to do before Christmas. Think about how much time each task will take, and if you find that it will consume 90% of your time consider delegating some of the tasks to your family or loved ones.
Remember to take care of yourself and unwind.
It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner during this time of year and forget to make some quality you-time. Make time to read that book you started but never finished. Relax and finish a few meditations from your Leaf app. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed try getting rid of the bad feelings by exercising, dancing around to your favorite tools, or even screaming your lungs out into a pillow. Whatever helps you release the stress and feel more relaxed.
Don’t overspend on gifts.
For many, one of the great moments during the holidays is the excited and happy face of their loved ones once they open the gift you bought them. Which is why people sometimes get swept up in gift buying and spend more than they should. However, many forget that the holidays can also be the perfect time to get a bit creative with gifting. You can do some DIY projects and make something, or think of IOU types of gifts. For example, your friend loves to go to salsa dances but no one really shares her passion. Why not give her a ‘coupon’ that says you will go with her to any salsa party that happens in the next year? It will make her excited, it’s free, and also provides a lot of future bonding chances.
Do some outdoors exercise.
Yes, it’s cold outside. Yes, you’d probably rather cuddle under a warm blanket and binge-watch Christmas movies. It might be hard to force yourself to leave the comfort of your house, but if you put in the effort you’ll reap some amazing rewards. In fact, studies have found being active outside is more enjoyable than doing the same activity indoors and will lift your mood after just a few minutes. That means that even taking a family walk before or after dinner will benefit your mental and physical health. Being active is one of the best ways to get rid of anxiety and stress as it promotes the release of endorphins and decreases the effects of stress hormones such as cortisol.
Some stress is unfortunately, not as easily avoidable, such as unexpected family arguments. So make sure you keep your Leaf app close, and the meditations at the ready. Just in case.