Managing holiday stress

The holidays are here again and although it can bring joy and happiness it can also feel overwhelming and stressful. During this time of year, we often overindulge in many ways including spending, overextending ourselves, drinking and eating too much which can all wreak havoc on how we feel.

It is important that you increase ways to manage stress in effective ways to avoid it affecting your overall health in negatively.

Stress reduction strategies can help to manage and increase your holiday cheer.

1. Take a break: Give yourself a few minutes a day to take care of yourself. This is a good time to use some mindful breathing to help relieve stress and check in with yourself.

2.  Acknowledge your feelings. Validate your feelings without judgment. It is okay to feel what you are feeling. 

3. Set Boundaries: Make sure that you do not overcommit and set yourself up to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Setting boundaries to only doing what you feel you can do will help you to enjoy the time you have with the important people in your life without overwhelming yourself with feelings of obligation to others that may lead to feeling resentful.

4. Stick to a budget: It is easy to get off track and spend more than we can afford which can lead to months of stress that is avoidable. One easy way to stick to your budget is to leave the cards at home and use cash. Using cash and a budget can help you manage overspending this holiday season.

5. Avoid overindulging in food or alcohol use: Enjoy the food festivities but be aware of avoiding to much sugar and alcohol. These can both affect our mood in negative ways including our mood, sleep disruptions, and more.

6. Stay active but not too active: Balancing your activity level is important to avoiding exhaustion. Try to continue your daily healthy habits If you have kids, add them to some of these activities such as a family after dinner walk to keep everyone active.

7. Practice Gratitude: Remind yourself of all the wonderful things and people who you have in your life. Using gratitude with your family/co-workers/ friends can help to avoid conflict. For instance, if a friend keeps pushing you to go out to all the holiday parties and you are not wanting to just ask yourself why she may be doing this. It may be her way of showing that she cares about you.

8. Avoid Perfectionism: The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Give yourself a break and others as well. As families grow so do traditions and try being flexible if things are not perfect.

9. Asking for Help: It is ok to ask for help to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Make a list of priorities and make sure you put yourself on that list, you can not do things when you are running on empty. Asking someone for help can alleviate pressures of doing it all yourself and you get to spending quality time with people in your life.

10. Have fun: Don’t forget to have fun. Be creative and allow yourself a break from it all and enjoy doing something you love such as reading, listening to music, drawing, painting, or just cuddle with a nice hot cider and watching your favorite holiday movie.

Don’t let the holidays be overwhelming. Try to implement some strategies to avoid burnout and resentment. Take time for yourself and learn to recognize when you are starting to feel overwhelmed, so you can prevent it. With some self-care and planning, you may enjoy the holidays a little bit more this year.

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(510) 947-8041