Dr. DIY: Relieve Holiday Stress in 5 Easy Steps
You can love the holiday season without loving all the anxiety that comes with it. From planning parties to wrapping packages, finding your peace during what is easily one of the most stressful times of the year is tricky unless you have a plan. Consider five ways to de-stress and enjoy this time with friends and family.
1. Set Some Obtainable Goals
It’s time to come to terms with the fact that you can’t do it all. Instead of trying to force it, sit down and write out a list of priority tasks and how you can accomplish them. Create another list of secondary chores and either delegate them to others in the family, or work on them once you get through the primary list. Just putting everything down in writing helps you get organized and feel better.
2. Get Some Sun
Even if the weather outside is frightful, getting a dose of vitamin D will put everything into perspective. The combination of a little sunshine with the clean, crisp air will invigorate you. Set aside some time each day to enjoy the elements, even if that means you just take a 10-minute walk around the block. (Just be sure to remember to wear your sunscreen—protecting your skin is important all year long!)
3. Time for a Meditation Break?
All it takes is a few minutes alone and a couple of deep, cleansing breaths to put everything back into focus. Whether you are feeling the stress while holiday shopping or at the dinner table with the in-laws, step away and breathe. You can even take it further by adopting a mantra to get in the right frame of mind like, “Relax, it’s only once a year.” Learn to do this three or four times a day to ease the holiday tension.
4. Write It Out
What is it about this time of year that adds to your stress? Writing out your thoughts can help you see when you are overreacting or develop solutions to chronic problems. Maybe cooking a big meal each year is more than you can handle on top of everything else. Once you write that down, you can consider your options, like catering the main dishes and just baking the sweet treats—or how about asking everyone to bring a dish?
5. Get Some Exercise
Exercise is your natural defense against all things stressful. Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of your regular fitness plans. If you are normally active, stopping just because you think you are too busy to exercise can actually increase your tension.
If you are in a time crunch, consider breaking up your workout into 10-minute sessions or reducing your time commitment but increasing the intensity. Physical activity not only boosts your mood, it gives you that energy boost you need to push through all the holiday tasks.
The holiday season doesn’t have to be full of stress. Stay healthy for the holidays by finding your peace and welcome the New Year with a relaxed smile on your face.