Gain Time. Lose Stress.
9 Sure-Fire Ways to Breeze Through the Holidays
You know it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but instead you feel as if you need your own crew of elves to help you through the holidays. Whatever your source of stress you're not alone. The holidays are stressful for most of us.
Bring the joy of the season back into your life with these stress-zapping strategies.
Don't let money woes get you down.
- Know that money is tight for just about everyone these days, so instead of stressing over what to give, make a date to spend some time together. The experience will be more memorable than a gift.
- Make a budget and stick to it so you don't go overboard – debt is a leading cause of stress.
- Make a gift list or ask for suggestions before you go shopping.
- Buy online to avoid crowds or research gift prices before hitting the stores.
Pay for gifts in cash to avoid over spending.
Drawing names can simplify gift exchanges.
Start by looking at your calendar to make sure you're not overbooked. Next, make your “to-do” list and see how you can simplify it.
Be a savvy shopper.
Bring along sale ads in case there’s a question about an item’s availability or price. Also have a book stashed away to enjoy while waiting in lines.
Get your Zzzz's.
The sheer lack of sleep can instantly cause stress, especially during the holidays when you're always on the go. Try to maintain a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep per night.
Change your family traditions.
There is so much pressure for everyone to get along and for things to be perfect in just a few short days. Try spending more time with your family throughout the year, so there is less pressure during the holidays. Mix up tradition – instead of a big family dinner, try a game night. Switching it up can distract family and potentially avoid the opportunities for “hot button” conversations.
Sugar plum fairies are dancing in your head.
Eating or drinking too much can add to stress – enjoy holiday indulgences in moderation and don't beat yourself up if you stray from your diet. When you're stressed, you release the hormone cortisol, which makes you crave fatty sugary foods and the cycle begins again.
Set realistic goals. Remember you are not a superhero. Make a list and focus on what is a priority in your personal or professional life – and realize that obsessing about the little things isn't necessary. Don't focus all of your attention on one day, and accept that the day may not go as planned. Be satisfied with good enough.
Schedule some “me” time.
Allowing yourself the time and space to take care of yourself is essential. We tend to worry about the future. Taking stock of the moment brings us back to the present and mutes anxieties. Stop and smell those cookies you're baking.
Ask for help.
If you're hosting a holiday gathering, don't be afraid to ask others to bring a dish.
During the holiday season, keep this in mind:
You can grin and bear it --- or you can choose to do something that will truly make you smile.