The holidays can be a joyful, festive time, but they can also be extremely stressful - gift-giving pressure, potential family conflicts, worries about money, a hectic schedule to keep on top of and more. There never seems enough time to relax and simply enjoy the spirit of the season while attempting to get everything done.
The best thing you can do is to take extra care of yourself during this potentially stressful time:
- Set spending limits. Money and stress over paying for gifts is often one of biggest causes of anxiety during the holiday season. You can relieve that problem if you make a budget and stick to it.
- Get yourself organized. Make lists or use your phone or computer calendar to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend. This way nothing will catch you off guard.
- Share the load. It’s probably impossible to do everything on your own. Spend time with friends and family while you share tasks like decorating, wrapping gifts, and preparing the holiday meal. Sharing will make the tasks on your to-do less stressful and more fun.
- Just say no. Give yourself permission to say no. You don’t have to do everything and be there for everyone. Only take on what you want and think you can really accomplish. Taking on more than you can handle is a recipe for frustration and even more stress.
- You don’t have to be perfect. The Normal Rockwell painting of the perfect holiday unrealistic for every family. Instead try to focus on the traditions that make holidays special for you and your loved ones. Making 10 different kinds of cookies is stressful. Will anyone really notice if you only bake two varieties? Probably not.
- Take breaks for yourself. The spirit of the season is giving, but you can’t enjoy giving if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Carve out time for yourself. Go to the gym, relax, talk a walk, meditate, read a book - do something that is relaxing and make YOU feel centered and good.
- Stick to a regular schedule. Sleep, eating right and proper exercises are important components to feeling well all year round. It may be hard to keep on a regular schedule when it comes the busy holiday period - especially with holiday parties, shopping, decorating and more getting in the way. But it’s vital to maintain your routine. Otherwise, you feel run down and likely be more susceptible to depression and health issues.
- Boost your immune system. Part of eating right is making sure to take extra care to get a extra antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin D to keep you health and ward off cold and flu.
- Get help/support. Holidays can trigger depression for many people. Many people have strained family relationships, are dealing with a recent death of a loved one, have a lack of funds, or have recently split from a spouse. The holiday pressure to be joyful and happy during this period can put overwhelming pressure on people. If you feel that you are feeling more than a little “down”, talk with a doctor, therapist or counselor.