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Managing Holiday Stress for More Joy


Managing Holiday Stress for More Joy

Your weekends are packed with parties; your in-laws are coming for Christmas this year; your holiday mantel isn’t even close to Pinterest perfect; and your shopping list is still a mile long—pressure during the holiday season can be intense. Even if you love every minute of the holidays, it’s important to be proactive about managing stress so you don’t end up gloomy and tired by Christmas morning. So how do you balance all of the busyness?

  • Set realistic expectations. Most holiday stress comes from trying to accomplish too much in too little time. What is most important to you this holiday? Spending time with family? Crafting meaningful, handmade gifts? Serving others? Whatever it is, make it your priority and fill in fun activities and commitments around that.
  • Set yourself up for success. Simplify where you can (you don’t have to make everything from scratch!), give yourself plenty of time when scheduling events or traveling and tackle Christmas tasks early instead of waiting until the last minute. This way, you can enjoy the season without rushing through it.
  • Set a spending limit. No gift or splurge is worth the stress of going into debt for it. Give yourself a budget—and remember that thoughtful and personal wins over stressful and extravagant every time.
  • Set aside time for yourself. Carve out a few moments each day to recharge and enjoy the season for yourself. Read a book by the fire, go for a long walk, eat a healthy meal. You can’t give to others—and you certainly won’t have energy for baking marathons or late night gift-wrapping—if you don’t take care of yourself first.
  • Set time to talk about your feelings. The holidays can be tough, especially if you are grieving or facing holiday depression or anxiety. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to get a little help. Talking to a therapist or your doctor about the holiday blues can equip you with the tools you need to make the most of the season.
  • Set the mood. With temperatures dropping, the holidays are the perfect time to stay in and relax. String some lights, build a cozy fire and turn on some classic Christmas tunes—it’s the perfect way to make memories and make your home feel extra special. Plus, research shows that music can work wonders for reducing stress and anxiety!

With a little determination and planning ahead, you can sail through this holiday season with less stress and more joy.

Categories: Health, Q&A