10 Ways To Manage Holiday Stress

holidaypuppyHappy Thanksgiving!  Today officially kicks off the holiday season.  For being the most wondrous and joyful time of the year, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years Day can also be the most stressful.  The following tips will be useful to have a great holiday season without all of the added (and often self-imposed) stress.

1.  Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.

2. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. If dinner is late or something is forgotten, let it go.  It will not be remembered ten years down the road.

4. Don’t lose the meaning. If consumerism has you down, check out for awhile with inspirational literature and reconnect with what makes the holidays special and important.

5.  Don’t skip your regular workouts. It’s easy to find extra time in your schedule by cutting back on gym visits or afternoon walks, but because exercise is such an effective form of stress relief, all you’ll be buying yourself is exhaustion and added stress.

6. Get Some Sunlight. It stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin and also helps relieve seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which impacts millions of Americans every year.

7. Turn off your gadgets and technology. Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together?

8. Stay Positive. The holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but don’t focus on the bad. An optimistic outlook will help you cope with seasonal challenges that come your way.

9. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

10. Review your life priorities. Combat your hectic schedule by reassessing what matters the most to you.

Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

photo credit: somecanuckchick via photopin cc

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