The holidays are traditionally a time for festivity and cheer. However, the pressure of traveling, hosting, cooking, and gift-giving can sometimes make the holiday spirit a little less bright.That’s because our bodies respond to stress, and stress affects almost every system in our body. Therefore, finding healthy ways to manage stress over the holidays is just the right gift to give our bodies and our minds.
Here are a few tips on how to have a more positive holiday season.
1) Bah-hum-BUG to bugs and colds and flus… ‘Tis The Season To Be Healthy!
With the change in season, November and December are notorious for catching a cold, the flu, or the stomach bug. Be diligent about disinfecting, staying hydrated, exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy.
- Buy extra tissues, lip balm, hand sanitizer, and hand cream…
- Bring your own bottle of water or tea with you, everywhere you go!
- Set your alarm to make sure you get up to go to the gym… and go!
- Make sure you have three meals a day… and not too many snacks!
- Give yourself a little something extra, like a trip to the massage parlor.
2) Ho, ho, ho… No, no, no!
It’s okay to say “No” to people… even if they offer holiday tidings and cheer. There’s only so much we can do, year-round. The holidays can be especially taxing, because of the time crunch we often feel with trying to fit in gift buying and festivities, while school is still in session, and our workload is mounting. So… though you might usually say, “Yes” to the many things your kids want to do, after school… you may decide it’s better to let them play in the basement, while you take care of yourself.
Be realistic about your limits!
If someone on the PTA has asked you to bake five dozen cookies for the school holiday party, don’t just automatically say, Yes. Think a moment. Before agreeing, ask yourself, am I already feeling stressed? Will this just add to the pile? Is there a way to divide up this task so it doesn’t all fall on me?
3) Be A Responsible Giver
Don’t overextend yourself with gift-giving. You may want to get your daughter the computer she’s been asking for, or the latest smartphone, because all of her friends have one. However, look at your budget and make an informed decision based on how much you set aside to spend on gifts, instead of just saying “Yes,” on the spot. You want to give freely, and not with a heavy heart!
Self-care isn’t just saying “No” to overload… it’s saying “Yes” to experiences that are rejuvenating!
Try to find ways to nurture your mind and spirit during the holidays.
- Draw a bubble bath, and give yourself a break from wrapping presents.
- Light holiday scented candle, and awaken your senses.
- Play music in the car… in the kitchen… in the bedroom… in the bath… create music playlists that suit each environment!
- Take a walk to get some fresh air and collect some pine cones…
- When stress is at it’s height, it can be a great time to try meditation, yoga, or mindfulness fitness.
- Practice Daily Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills… grounding, self-soothing, becoming present!