The holidays only come once a year, but that can result in holding ourselves to standards that sometimes aren’t attainable or healthy. Minimize holiday stress by using the following tips throughout the holiday season.
1.) Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones for other reasons, it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
- If the holidays are particularly difficult for you, it may help to reach out to a friend, family member, or other types of online or community support group about your concerns.
2.) It’s OK 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. Give yourself the gift of self-care.
3.) Stick to healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Here are a few tips:
- Have a healthy snack before holiday meals so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese, or drinks
- Eat healthy meals
- Get plenty of sleep
- Include regular physical activity in your daily routine
4.) Stick to a budget and plan ahead. Before you do your gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. You can also prevent last minute scrambling by choosing specific days for shopping, baking, connecting with friends, and other activities.
5.) Embrace change. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often evolve as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.