Relieve stress and survive the holiday season

The holiday season is quickly approaching. While this should be a time of happiness and celebration, it can also become a time of stress and anxiety.

Not only do extra expenses and calories creep in, but your schedule fills up with holiday parties or family members in town seemingly every weekend.

Make the season a time of joy and wonder, not wonder how I’m going to survive, with these simple tips:

1. Money – To lessen the worry about extra expenses, plan ahead and stick to a realistic budget.

  • Start shopping early so November and December’s finances aren’t hit so hard with the extra spending.
  • Consider talking with family and friends about gift spending limits.
  • If money is extremely tight, give your time or talent. Give a gift of a night of free babysitting to your family members or friends so they can have a date night with their spouse. If you’re a talented photographer, gift a mini session of family portraits.

2. Health – Don’t let the holidays become a free for all and let your fitness and diet fall by the wayside.

  • Set aside at least 30 minutes for physical activity, three times a week.
  • Eat a healthy snack before your holiday party so you don’t over indulge on sweets or drinks.

3. Ask for Help- Enjoying this time with family and friends is most important, having a flawless table centerpiece is not. Don’t stress yourself out trying to make everything perfect and don’t try to do everything yourself

  • Delegate chores or ask others to chip in, i.e. have your family members bring side dishes for the meal and you prepare the main dish.

4. Self-Care

  • Take at least 15 minutes for yourself to refresh and relax. Listening to music, taking a bath or going for a walk can help ease your mind and reduce stress.

5. Same Family, Different Opinions- The extra time with family members can be draining, especially when you’re dealing with different personalities and opinions.

  • Agree to disagree and let your differences go.
  • Don’t let others’ actions or words take away your joy and happiness.

6. Accept Change

  • Traditions change as kids get older or family moves away. Hold onto whatever traditions you can but try to make new ones!

7. Say No

  • Everyone is busy this time of year so say “No” when you need to. You don’t have to attend every holiday party or get together. Your friends and family will understand if you can’t make it because they’re busy too!

8. It’s Okay- If this is the first holiday after a loved one’s passing or you can’t be with your family at the holidays, know that you’re allowed to be sad or express your feelings.

  • If you’re lonely, try to attend different community, religious or social events so you can meet others and enjoy their companionship.
  • Boost your spirits by giving back through volunteering.
  • Seek out professional help if you need to.

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