Holiday Stress Relief
12 Holiday Stress Relief Tips
You hang up the phone pick up the pen and start jotting down times and dates, AGAIN! How many work functions, kid parties and cookies trays can one person juggle? Not to mention the gift list that everyone keeps adding to. It’s not looking good. Here it is the middle of November and stress is already starting to creep to an out of control level.
Yes, you would love to bury your head in the sand till January 2nd, but you know you won’t do that. Holidays were meant to be enjoyed by everyone.
Let’s take a quick look at what we can control and letting go of the rest.
Children want extra exciting play dates, parties and adventures around the holidays. Set a limit. Stick to it. Each child gets 1 or 2 special events to participate in. Better yet, see if you can combine some of the children’s activities together. You will carve yourself an hour or two for your better half and yourself. Even if it’s sitting at the opposite end of the room, talking and sipping a soda while the kids interact with their friends.
Connecting with loved ones helps reduce stress. While you have carved out some talking time, quickly run over the holiday schedule. What I’m suggesting here is find out what’s important to your family. If the extra cookies and pies you are trying to bake in between work, housework, car pools, (you get what I’m saying ) is pushing you over the edge. Stop doing it. If there is a family favorite just make that. Trying to create the perfect setting is unrealistic. Embrace your family’s favorites.
Speaking of perfection, loose it. There is no perfect holiday. Something gets forgotten in the oven, a glass of red wine drops on Grandmas pure white linen or family fighting begins.(over what we may never know) Lower your expectations. Enjoy being around family that you haven’t seen in awhile. Make up your mind that you deserve to enjoy this holiday.
Set up your holiday budget and stick with it. Understand eyes are bigger then wallets. It’s okay to say no to more money for a gift. In fact give gifts of time and charity. Planning ahead takes away some of the last minute running around. The sooner you purchase and wrap the sooner you get to cross off your list. You might want to check out www.Flylady.com, she is a wonderful example of planning and using time to your advantage with just 15 minutes at a clip.
Make sure you follow your exercise routine. Now is the time when we all say “I just can’t seem to find the time to go walking”, use discipline to follow through with your exercise plan. You will have a better attitude and be able to make some of the hard calls while not having it bother you one bit. You will sleep better, be able to cope with your day better. Along the lines of exercise, plan some time just for you. Go to your favorite spot and sit.
Listen to favorite holiday music. Practice some breathing techniques. Curl up in a quiet place with a new holiday magazine and a favorite drink. Go through all those old boxes of Christmas balls relieve some of the good memories and give away the rest. When you plan some of that time for yourself put in some extra time for sleeping. With more shopping and socializing then usual you are bound to be exhausted. Not enough sleep leads to a lower immune system and can also leave you feeling more stressed.
Eat well. We all want to sample the tastes of the season but over indulging can lead to stomach upsets and feeling stressed. When you are going out have a tall glass of water or a small salad to curb your appetite. This way food indulging will be less.
Shopping online can help you stay with in your budget and will definitely alleviate the shopping mall crowd. Save gas, time and money. Usually shipping is free IF you order early. Bring the family together to help with the household chores. Dedicate an hour a week for everyone to work together. Break it down into small jobs, dusting under the dining room table, running the broom across the ceiling corners etc. Small jobs seem to work well, before anyone gets bored they are moving on to the next job.
If you need outside help bring it in. Don’t be shy about it. Lots of people are looking for extra work especially near the holidays. Have someone come in to clean the house for the month of December.
Some people need help coping with holiday stress. The tips I have given here may not be enough, despite your best efforts. Consult your family doctor or a mental health professional if you feel that you can’t get past feeling anxious, sad, stressed or unable to sleep.