Managing Holiday Stress

December 19, 2012

Although the holidays are to be a cheerful time of year filled with family gatherings, wonderful meals, and unforgettable moments, we may often experience stress. The anxiety can stem from extra preparations/responsibilities, difficult family members (we all have them), or a myriad of other things. There are some tips you can focus on to help manage and reduce your stress.

 –Laugh often. It’s been said laughter is the best medicine, and it can often serve as a great stress reliever. Watching your favorite comedy movie, reading a funny joke a day, or simply listening to relatives tell hilarious stories from past family gatherings are great ways to add humor. Or, you can look at goofy photos, such as this one:

–Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Believe it or not, maintaining your body physically healthy boosts your morale and overall well-being and can help keep you balanced during stressful times. Avoid treating the holidays like a free-for-all; although you may not hit your rigorous workout routine, a family walk or pick up game of football along with a sprinkle of cat naps throughout the holidays can help tremendously. 

–Learn to say “no”. Remember, no one is a super human; don’t feel you must participate in every single project or activity, especially if the extra commitment(s) will overwhelm you. Don’t feel guilty about scheduling some time for yourself to rest and relax–calming music and deep breaths can really help.

–Be realistic. Although you may want everything to be perfect down to the last detail, it’s ok if it isn’t. Simplify and eliminate extra duties and tasks that aren’t necessary and add stress. Alternating gourmet meals with quick ones throughout the holidays help tememdously, for example, instead of insisting every single meal is a lavish one. 

–Remember what the holidays mean to you. It’s easy to get distracted and irritated by tangled holiday lights, accidentally overcooked turkey or chipped dishes, but keep in mind what is really important to you. Mainting your focus on what really matters is key.

We’re excited for the holiday season and wish you and your family all the joy in the world!

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