The holidays are a wonderful time of the year. It’s a chance to take some time off of work and enjoy your family and the festivities. However, these months can also be very anxiety-provoking and stressful. It’s essential that if you want to get through them in one piece and with a positive attitude that you find ways to reduce your stress during the holidays.
The following ideas will help you know what to focus on and do so you can feel your best. Avoid aiming for perfection and do more of what makes you happy. Remember that soon the holidays will be over and life will be back to normal, so try not to let the buildup and excitement get the best of you.
You can reduce your stress during the holidays by exercising daily. It’s even more important that you do so when you don’t feel up to it. Commit to fitting in at least 30 minutes of physical activity, and you’ll likely instantly feel better. Mix it up by going for walks or runs, doing yoga or cardio classes, and weightlifting, so your routine doesn’t become boring. You’ll not only be in good shape and better able to maintain your weight with all the good food around, but your mood will get a boost too. There are many benefits that working out has to offer so set a few new fitness goals and find a way to fit exercise into your schedule so you can reduce your stress and have more energy.
Meditation is a wonderful way to slow racing thoughts and to acknowledge your judgments and emotions. Reduce your stress during the holidays by downloading guided meditation apps on your phone and playing them while you’re cooking a meal or when you’re getting ready in the morning. You’ll find that you’re able to think more clearly and concentrate better when you meditate frequently. Be patient because meditating can sometimes be challenging, and you may hit roadblocks in your practice. Give it a try and then begin to extend the amount of time you’re meditating each session after a while as you get more familiar with it. Notice how much calmer you feel and that your to-do list doesn’t seem as daunting when you’re taking good care of your mind and feelings.
3. Listen to Music
Music is also an excellent stress-reliever and a fun way to enjoy yourself during the holidays. Put on some of your favorite songs from artists such as Robbie Williams and allow yourself to dance and sing along to the music. Play it while you’re driving in your car running errands and when you get home from work to give yourself a boost of energy. You may also want to play some Christmas music and songs from your childhood that bring about positive and warm feelings and memories for you. Music is a wonderful way to release tension and stress and put a smile on your face, so turn to it when you need some fun and relaxation in your days.
4. Clean the House
Although it may not be the most fun or exciting activity, you might feel better after you clean up the house. Get into your comfortable clothing, put on some music, and tackle house projects that have been on your list. Perform a deep clean and go through your closets and basement to declutter and get your home in order. You’ll feel less stressed when you look around and don’t have to stare at a mess or dirt and grime any longer. It’ll also be nice to get a jump start on this in case friends, or family members stop by unexpectedly to say hello during the holiday season. Having a clean and organized house is also a great way to kick off the New Year.
5. Shop Online
You can also reduce your stress during the holidays by doing some or all of your shopping online. All you need is a phone or computer and an Internet connection, and you’ll be all set to purchase the items you need and want. It’s easy to do, and you can save yourself the stress from having to go into each store and deal with the crowds of people. Hop online in the comfort of your own home and do your Christmas and grocery shopping to avoid long lines and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are likely plenty of discounts and sales to take advantage of online too to save yourself some money. You won’t have to spend time driving around from store to store and it will free up your schedule so you can bake cookies or go ice skating with your kids.
6. Connect with Friends & Family
The holidays are the perfect time to connect and reconnect with friends and family members who you don’t get to see very often. Reach out and see who is interested in getting together and spending some quality time catching up. If you can’t get together in person for any reason, then consider setting up a videoconference and touching base this way instead. Catch up on what’s happening in each of your lives, exchange holiday recipes, and have a good laugh with those you enjoy being around. You can reduce stress during the holidays by connecting with people who make you feel happy and good about yourself. Take some time off of work and ask a friend to go walking or have coffee with you and notice how much better and less stressed out you feel.
7. Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits
The holidays are a challenging time because there is a lot of temptation lingering around. For instance, there is delicious food and drinks to indulge in, and you might rather watch Christmas movies on the couch instead of exercise. However, this is the time of the year when you should do all that’s in your power not to abandon healthy habits. You’ll thank yourself when the holidays are over, and you’re able to maintain your weight and don’t feel drained and worn out. It may help to keep a journal or get a fitness tracker so you can monitor what you’re putting in your body and how much exercise you’re getting. Also, commit to going to bed at a decent hour and not staying up late just because it’s the holiday season. You’ll feel much better, and your mood will lift when you stick to practicing healthy habits and living a healthy lifestyle.
8. Learn to Say No
You can reduce your stress during the holidays by saying no more often. Learn to say no to others when you don’t have the time or energy to give and do so without feeling guilty. Remind yourself that you need to do what’s best for you if you want to be healthy and feel good. The holidays are a busy time already and over committing yourself to events and activities will only drain your energy and make you feel tired and overwhelmed. Instead, make this season about you and your health and practicing self-care more often. You’ll thank yourself when you wake up each day feeling refreshed and can tackle your to-do list with a sense of ease and grace. The people who truly care about you will understand when you say no and won’t take it personally. Keep reminding yourself that you need to do what’s best for you to stay well and reduce your stress during the holidays.