As the bulk of the holiday season approaches closer, most of us are already up to our ears in our Holiday Stress. We have had multiple parties, and many other different types of social gatherings, seeing long-term family members, etc. With all the craziness of the holiday season, it leads to more stress than at other times of the year. This stress can lead to snapping at your family members, feeling depressed or lonely, not wanting to do anything at all, etc.
Since the Holiday season is about happiness and holiday cheer, you want to make sure that you take care of your mental health and have some time for self-care. Although it is hard to find personal self-care time during the holiday season, I have come up with easy ways to give yourself the self-care that you need to manage your holiday stress. These tips have helped me stay sane during the holiday season so I hope that the tips are helpful to you as well. Without further ado, check out my tips on how to Manage your Holiday Stress below.
They say that giving to the less fortunate is a good thing to do during the holidays. However, many people do not have time to buy food or clothing for the less fortunate let alone run to a shelter to provide those items to them. While some of these things can be time-consuming- especially during a month when your time is limited, there are other ways to be generous as well.
One way you can be generous is when you go and pick up your to-go order for dinner, pay for the person behind you. Another way you can be generous, without costing you too much, is to lend a friend one of your holiday dresses. Some people have a limited wardrobe and thus, would love the gesture. A little goes a long way in the holidays. So, a small amount of generosity will help with the Holiday Stress.
Maintain Healthy Habits
For most people, they tend to let it go during the Holidays. Eating a good holiday meal, going to all the holiday parties, etc, can sometimes lead to unhealthy habits during the holidays. I am one of those that are guilty of letting go during the holidays. I also tend to not work out during the months from October – December since it gets a bit crazy for me. However, over the past couple of years, I have tried hard to maintain some sort of healthy habits during the holidays.
I know it may be hard, but you can do small things during the holidays to stay healthy. One of the things is to maintain a healthy diet and eat well during the days you are not going out or don’t have a party. If you give your body good nutrients at least 80% of the time during the holiday season, you will be less stressed when the New Year comes around and you want to drop that weight.
Another way to stay healthy during the holidays is to do at least some sort of physical activity for about 15 minutes daily. It can be something small like taking a walk, doing some crunches, or doing other body weight exercises. I like to do this while watching a Holiday movie. This keeps me active and in the Holiday spirit.
Plan Wisely (and say no!)
During the holiday season, we have a lot of plans. The plans can include holiday parties, activities with kids’ schools, and activities with kids at home. Having that full schedule can lead to a lot of stress for many people. However, most people want to do all the holiday activities like the Elf on the Shelf, going to holiday parties, and attending holiday events like seeing Santa or the Christmas lights in their local city.
There are ways to enjoy all these activities without feeling too stressed. One way to do that is to plan wisely. For instance, try to plan at least 2-3 activities a week instead of having a packed week. Another way to plan wisely is to learn to say no to certain events. You don’t have to attend every Holiday party that gives you an invite- you can say no. This allows for some free days to just relax in between all the Holiday activities.
Stick to a Budget
Budgeting is a huge part of the Holiday stress. Most people start to save up for the Holidays after the summer. However, some people don’t have that luxury, so they spend what they have during the Holiday season. Regardless of the option of budgeting that you have, you should always stick to a budget and not go over it, in order to reduce stress during the Holidays.
Everyone wants to give the best gift to their family and friends. So, sometimes we’ll go over about $5-$15 on some gifts. But going over that much on each gift can lead to a huge change in the holiday gift budget. Thus, having a holiday budget and strictly sticking to the holiday budget should be done. Most people who don’t go above their holiday budget are less stressed and thus, happier during the holiday season.
Take Time to Read
As per usual, I am saving the best tip for last. Another way to reduce stress during the Holidays is to take about 15 minutes to do an activity that calms you down. Having that 15 minutes to yourself is a big help for your mental health and stability. The calmest people that I have encountered during the Holidays, have some sort of “me time” to help reduce their Holiday stress. While thirty minutes is a recommended time for some self-care time, even you can even carve out fifteen minutes- that will be more than enough time to help reduce the Holiday stress.
I like to keep up with my reading during the Holidays as well- even if it’s hard to do so. I’ll try to carve out fifteen minutes at least five times a week. I’ve noticed that when I keep up with my reading during the Holiday season, I’m less stressed. For most people, reading helps them calm down and reduce stress. A lot of people don’t have the time to read during the Holidays. However, taking out fifteen minutes to read a book, before bedtime is all you need to help reduce the Holiday stress. Taking your mind to a fictional world helps ease your mind and lower your stress levels.
And those are my tips on how to reduce your holiday stress. Which one of these tips have you practiced in the past or are currently practicing? Let me know in the comments below!