5 Ways to Reduce Stress This Holiday Season
No matter how much holly and jolly surrounds this season, it can still be stressful.
It's the holiday season and we're all just living in this perfect slow globe of a world, right? It's OK if you said 'no.' This time of year can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many bells and whistles all around you, deadlines to meet, family to visit, treats to bake, presents to wrap, and if you hear "Jingle Bells" in one more store you are going to lose it!
It's not worth it to stress of Christmas. This really should be a time to enjoy ourselves and the company of those we love. I believe there are some things that we can do to reduce our stress.
1. Make a plan and stick to it
This one is so difficult for me sometimes, but I know that if I take a moment to map out my days and weeks, I will be less likely to snap. Map out a reasonable amount of shopping or wrapping to do in a day. Carve out some time to bake those cookies and frost them with your kids. Trust me, the more your plan the happier you will be knowing that the time you are spending gazing at those holiday lights downtown is time well spent and accounted for. And then stick to that plan. Don't do any less than what you've planned and do try to do any more than you've mapped out. Remember, we've planned for this.
2. Get off of your phone
I can't tell you how much time I've wasted with my eyes glued to my phone. It really is a time suck which is something we cannot afford at this time of year. Stop scrolling Instagram and knock out something on your list or actually take in the beauty of Christmas around you. Plus, staying at Pam's perfect Christmas decorations on Facebook will not help your stress levels.
3. Don't do what you don't want to do
Christmas comes with a lot. Lot's to do, see, eat, and sing in order for it to feel like Christmas. It's a holiday that comes with a lot of Kris Kringle peer pressure. Here's the thing, if you don't want to do something, don't do it. If giving a gazillion gifts is not something you enjoy, then don't give any. Yep, I'm giving you permission to pass on the gift giving. If listening to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" makes you want to tear your ears off, then don't do it. Make Christmas yours and yours alone.
4. Give yourself a break
Practice a little grace this holiday season. Nothing is ever perfect, so just take it easy on yourself. If you can, take a minute to grab a peppermint mocha and actually enjoy it, preferably while it's hot. Schedule (see No. 1) a night to just sit on the couch and watch a Christmas movie with your family. Nobody expects you to hustle and bustle all the time.
5. Move your body
I'm such a believer in the power of working out. When I've gone too long without movement my head is foggy, I'm irritable and I'm just not at the top of my game. I've been in that funk lately, but I know the fix. Now, I'm not telling you to go sign up for Cross Fit or a Santa half marathon, but I am telling you to get out and walk the dog or park at the end of the parking lot to get your steps in. It's little things like this that can add up and make you feel so much better. Plus, remaining active during this time will definitely pay off when those New Year's resolutions hit on January 1.
Smiling can instantly lift your mood, so give it a try!