The holiday season can be a magical time full of fun and excitement- the music, lights and infectious excitement can all add up to a beautiful season that is truly the most wonderful time of the year! However, with all the events, food, parties and gift-giving, the winter holidays can also take their toll on your emotional and physical well-being. Here are some tips for taking the stress out of your festivities so you can be free to deck the halls and light the lights while hanging onto your own inner joy,
Take Time for Yourself- The holiday season is all about spending time with cherished friends and loved ones: family gatherings, big parties and outings with the kids all make the season bright. But in all the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to find time to connect with the most important person- yourself! Taking a little “me-time” out of each day can go a long way towards keeping you centered and free of stress or anxiety as the holidays hit a fever pitch. Whether you choose to unwind with a relaxing bubble bath, cozy up by the fire with a good book, or make it to your morning yoga class, make sure to do something just for you each day so you can combat the delightful chaos of the holidays.
Healthy Holidays- Fun and festive treats are a big part of what makes the holiday season so special. Homemade pumpkin pie, iced sugar cookies and gingerbread are everywhere during this time of year, and candy is literally hanging from the trees, so you can’t blame yourself for indulging in yummy baked goods and sweets a little more than usual. However, if too many visions of sugarplums are dancing in your head, it could be detrimental to your health. Try to space out the sweet treats and stick to a healthy diet in order to feel your best during the holidays. Heavy, sugar- and butter-filled holiday recipes can leave you feeling sluggish, tired and bloated if you overdo it. Try to even it out with fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats, and drink plenty of water- you’ll be amazed by how much more energetic you’ll feel!
Plan Ahead- We all have that one relative whose holiday shopping begins in August, and that other relative who starts buying gifts for loved ones at around 8 PM on Christmas Eve. You can save yourself a lot of stress and hassle by splitting the difference, planning ahead for what you need to do and pacing yourself in the weeks leading up to the big day. Try to begin checking items off of your holiday to-do list earlier than you normally do, so you aren’t overwhelmed by the mountain of tasks that await you as the season ramps up.
Say “No”- With the holidays comes a truckload of events, activities, parties and other commitments that you will be tempted to try to fit in, even if that means having to sacrifice all your free time. Just remember, it’s OK to say no to some of these events! In fact, turning down a party invite here and skipping a holiday craft fair there may end up being more rewarding by allowing you to truly enjoy yourself at the events you do attend. As long as you make sure to make it to the most important holiday events, like your kids’ Christmas program or your best friend’s annual bash, you’ll be able to find the balance that will give you the most cheer!
Stick to the Budget- When you’re in the middle of a beautifully-decorated department store at the mall, or when your favorite shopping site is offering 50% off of everything during their Black Friday sale, it’s hard not to whip out the credit card and start checking off your gift-giving list. However, you’ll feel a lot less merry when you get hit with that credit card bill in January! By creating a holiday shopping budget and sticking to it, you can make sure you don’t overspend and end up in debt, which will lessen your stress considerably!
What’s your favorite way to take the stress out of the holiday season? Please share with us in the comments section.