Managing gift and travel expenses, navigating crazy crowds, and preparing big family meals all on top of other year-round stressors can make the holidays a stressful time for many. While the holidays are meant to be a vacation, they tend to be more of a busy time for most. This holiday season, keep in mind that this stress can have a long-lasting impact on your body and your mind. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce holiday stress and enjoy the season more.
1. Lower your expectations. Relieve yourself of some of the holiday pressure and forget about perfection. Having high expectations will lead to bigger disappointment if something goes wrong, so stay realistic, and if something goes wrong, don’t be afraid to take a deep breath and say “oh well.”
2. Leave time for yourself. Between all the planning, shopping, and cooking, it can be easy to forget about leaving yourself some down-time to relax. This year, schedule at least a half hour of time dedicated to yourself. Go for a walk, get a massage, or just mediate. It will make all of the difference.
3. Set a budget. If money is tight, the holiday season can be especially stressful, as it can add on a lot of extra expenses. Make sure to set a budget for gifts, food, and decorations and stick to it in order to avoid monetary stress. Also, if you’re traveling for the holidays, make sure to book your travel in advance to get the best prices.
4. Stay healthy. Even though the holidays are busy, don’t abandon all healthy habits until the new year. Make sure to get enough sleep, incorporate physical activity into each day, and don’t overindulge. Maintaining these healthy habits will help you better manage the holiday stress.
Overall, remember that the holidays are meant to be a time of joy, and a time of reconnecting with loved ones. Stay in the moment, enjoy yourself and take time to appreciate the small things. Happy Holidays!