For many people, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But for many, it also brings immense stress. After all, there are gifts to buy, meals to prepare, homes to decorate, and parties to attend. And while these events are enjoyable, they do require planning and effort.
But don’t let the holidays get the best of you. Consider these five simple ways to combat holiday stress.
First of all, plan ahead. Write down all scheduled holiday activities on a calendar. A phone calendar works well for individuals, but for families, consider using a wall calendar in a central location of the home so that all family members can see it. It will serve as a visual reminder.
If you’re hosting a get-together, make and freeze some of the food ahead of time.
No one should feel solely responsible for all of the holiday activities going on – learn to delegate! Ask for help from friends, co-workers, and family members. If you are in charge of the office party, for example, post a sign-up list for food and drink contributions from all involved. See if a local restaurant or watering hole might be the best location for such an event. Ask friends to help with social events, and suggest rotating hostesses so that no one has to host every year.
Quiet your inner perfectionist
Many of us are perfectionists, and holiday time brings out that tendency. Maybe you want to create the perfect holiday for your little ones, or you want to have the best neighborhood party ever. While there is no harm in aiming high, be realistic in setting goals.
Aim for a meaningful holiday, not a perfect one. Focus on the positive–think of what did go well rather than what didn’t.
It has long been thought that doing for others has great benefits for all of us. When we help others, we gain an immediate sense of happiness. We connect with others and get outside of our own microcosm. Giving back to our communities makes an impact; whether we are cleaning up littered streets, working with struggling readers, or serving at a local soup kitchen, we are helping in some specific way.
So, during this busy holiday time, consider helping in some small way. Bake cookies and take them to an elderly neighbor, or invite a lonely friend or coworker for coffee. You’ll help someone else and help yourself at the same time.
Take time for yourself
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to take time for yourself. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting ample rest should be top priorities. Find a little “me” time – slip away for a hot shower, sip on a cup of rejuvenating green tea, or catch a yoga class. Squeeze in some time for yourself so that you can be at your best.
And don’t be afraid to bow out of a few activities if you’re feeling overwhelmed; you don’t have to attend everything you’re invited to.
—- Bottom Line —-
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