Even though we all know that the December holiday season is a joyous time meant for celebrations and to give you some time off from duties at school or work, stress never seems far away.
It’s normal for people to experience some stress because it is a natural reaction to navigating the ordinary pressures of daily life. But stress can increase to an uncomfortable level and make things rough when life gets out of balance.
However, with some planning and organization for the holidays, you can change your mindset as you start to effectively manage any stress that comes up. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Set Expectations
Unrealistic expectations can generate stress, so be careful in what your are hoping to achieve (from buying presents in a set amount of time to how much food you’ll prepare for holiday feasts). The key is to know and respect your limits so you don’t get stretched too thin.
2. If Feeling Overwhelmed, Take Breaks
Taking a break from time to time is necessary regardless of how pressing the tasks might be. Otherwise, you might make mistakes or forget to do something important. A 10-minute period of silent meditation or going for a walk are good ways to relax amid holiday hubbub. This includes taking a break from making holiday-oriented to-do lists!
3. Appreciate Your Blessings and Demonstrate Gratitude
When you have a feeling of being thankful for what you have, from possessions and a roof over your head to the people in your life, it can give you a feeling of peace and serenity. That’s an important factor for managing stress during the holidays as well as throughout the rest of the year.
4. Practice Generosity
Be generous with your time and attention as well as with your pocketbook when you can. It will make others feel great and you’ll reduce stress when you see their mood lift.
5. Start (and End) Each Day With Something Enjoyable
There’s always some time to play and have fun every day. Getting up in time to watch the sun rise, trying a new breakfast recipe, playing board games with your family, sharing a funny movie—the options are endless!
6. Remember That Relationships Matter
Reflect on what it means to you personally, to be able to connect with family and friends (whether virtually through video chat or physically).
Being able to spend time bonding with loved ones this holiday season can provide enormous stress relief. When it’s hard to get together in person because of health concerns, you can still maintain connections online during lockdowns.
You can start to feel your stress melting away when you take a moment for yourself and think about the people in your life that mean the most to you.
7. Have a Stress-Free Holiday Season!
Practicing these various methods to reduce stress will certainly make a big difference in how you experience the holidays this year. Remember to give yourself a break with enough time and space to relax whenever things get to be too much.