They say that “it’s the most wonderful time of year.” Yet, demands brought on with the holiday season often leave us feeling not so wonderful. Parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining are just a few stressors that can leave you dreading the holidays, rather than looking forward to them. It's true for many of us.... it's up to Mama to make the season feel special!
So, knowing that many of these demands are an inevitable part of the holidays … how do we find balance? What can we do to prevent stress from casting a shadow over our holiday season?
Here are a few tips for managing stress during the holidays:
1. Don’t Overschedule Yourself.
It’s not possible to do everything for everyone all the time. Attempting to please everyone will leave you feeling stretched thin, overwhelmed and resentful. It is OK not to attend every holiday get-together, not to send out holiday cards this year, and to simply say NO. Stopping the hustle - or at the very least, slowing down – will leave you feeling calmer, more organized and leave you with a whole lot less guilt that what you think.
2. Make Time for Yourself.
Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. Whether it be time to meditate, sit quietly with a book, listen to your favorite music, take a yoga class, or a walk by yourself… carving out time to step away from your daily grind will bring peace and balance to your holiday season.
3. Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits.
Stick with your daily routine as much as possible. Continue to exercise as usual. Exercise will help you feel better, lower stress and elevate your mood. Be mindful of food selections, practicing 80% healthy choices and only 20% treats. Overindulgence only adds to stress and guilt, not to mention the extended repercussions (aka – weight gain) that linger well after the holidays are over.
I hope that practicing these stress-survival tips will bring you less stress, and more holiday cheer. Slowing down a bit and focusing your energy on enjoying the special people in your life will help it feel like “the most wonderful time of year”.
I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.