The Christmas Countdown Begins
Christmas is just five days away and then New Year’s will quickly follow! While this is a very fun and exciting time, it can also be very stressful. Last minute holiday shopping, parties and events, scheduling in time with family and friends, holiday traditions, etc. This can easily be a chaotic time that makes you feel very overwhelmed. In fact, a 2021 study found that 56% of Americans would rather not celebrate at all so they don’t have to deal with the stress of the season. Luckily, we have five simple tips to help you keep your stress levels low and truly enjoy this time of year.
Tips for Keeping Stress Levels Low
- Be Present and Mindful: As all of the holiday festivities are going on around you, remind yourself to truly be in the moment and check in with yourself frequently to evaluate how you are feeling. If you notice yourself getting stressed or overwhelmed, take a minute to discover what is causing the stress and see if there is a solution. Remember, it is okay to remove yourself from a situation, adjust a tradition, or even skip something all together if it is not important to you or if it is causing unnecessary stress. Managing your stress moment by moment like this is an excellent way to prevent holiday burnout.
- Be Realistic: The main purpose of the holidays is to enjoy time with friends and family. You do not have to make everything over the top or perfect or set unrealistically high expectations on yourself. You also don’t need to take on all the responsibilities of the season! Split up the chores, meals, and even gift wrapping among family members to allow yourself to have more time to relax and actually enjoy yourself.
- Exercise: Exercising is a great stress reliever and it will help prepare you to handle any daily stressors more effectively. You can incorporate exercise into your holiday festivities by inviting the whole family to get active! Check out our previous blog post for a list of ways to stay active over the holiday!
- Schedule in “Me Time:” This is not only the best way to truly relax, but it is also necessary for your mental health. Go to the gym, walk the dog, take a run around the neighborhood, take a bath, or turn in early to read a few chapters in your book, whatever helps you decompress and clear your mind.
- Focus on Nutrition: Dr. Gabriela Cora, a board-certified psychiatrist states that what you eat truly does affect your mental health. While it is perfectly okay to enjoy your favorite holiday treats in moderation, sticking to a mostly healthy and nutritious diet over the holiday season sets yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations and less stress.