Tips for managing holiday stress
There are ways to deal with holiday stress, but first, you need to understand your triggers.
Do certain situations cause you to feel overwhelmed? When you feel stressed, stop and try to consider what may be causing your anxiety. Once you understand your triggers, use these simple tips to limit holiday stressors.
1. Plan ahead
Finding time for all of your holiday activities can be tricky. On top of holiday commitments, you may also have to deal with increased traffic. Or you may feel extra pressure to get ahead of work so you can take time off to travel.
Creating an action plan can help relieve stress.
Write down all the things you need to do so you can prioritize the things that are most important. A list also makes it harder for things to slip your mind.
2. Put yourself first
The act of giving gets so much attention during the holidays it can be easy to forget to give back to yourself. Taking care of yourself can help make it easier for you to take care of others.
Set aside some time to do things you enjoy. Find time to exercise, plan a dinner out, or just get a few minutes of fresh air. And don’t forget the importance of a regular good night’s sleep.
Read more: Exercise as stress relief »
3. Keep your finances in check
If you’re worried about spending and how it will affect you after the holidays are over, be realistic about what you can afford. The sentiment behind a gift is more important than the cost.
Create a budget and stick to it. Spend only what you can afford, and if you don’t have the ability to spend anything, bake a treat or offer your talents and time to your friends and loved ones.
4. Honor loved ones you have lost
It may be difficult to celebrate the holiday season if you’ve lost someone dear to you or distance makes it difficult to spend time together.
Spend this holiday season reflecting on special memories of lost loved ones. Consider doing something meaningful in their honor.
And if you’re unable to spend time with loved ones, volunteer your time to a local organization where your smiling face could change someone’s day.
5. Don’t be afraid to say no
Understand that it’s okay to say no. Try to say “yes” to the events and things you know will bring you joy. Say “no” to obligations you know will cause you heartache and disappointment.
If working a few extra hours of overtime will make you happy so you can treat someone you love, it may be worth doing. But if your boundary-crossing relative invites you to a holiday party, feel free to decline. You’ll experience less stress and worry by saying no.