Shopping, baking, decorating, visiting family and friends, going to parties – the holidays can be a whirlwind of activity. All that activity can lead to some serious holiday stress. How do you keep your spirits and energy up without getting overwhelmed? Here are some tips for keeping your stress low and your mental and physical health merry and bright.
Go Giftless This YearIf you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to put more stress on your pocketbook, go giftless this year. Instead of shopping for yet another pair of slippers for your favorite aunt or another tie for your brother-in-law, try a different approach to gift giving: Don’t! Instead of buying presents for your loved ones, plan an outing for everyone to enjoy. Go to a play or Christmas pageant. Take the family to a Christmas concert or holiday sing-along. If Covid restrictions won’t allow it for indoor events, plan a day trip to a local ice-skating rink or favorite outdoor family destination. Spending time with your loved ones can be more rewarding than a cache of presents under the tree.
Take It Easy on the Holiday Treats
All those holiday treats are tempting, for sure. But overindulging can sap your energy and make you feel sluggish. When your body isn’t feeling right, your emotions are bound to be topsy-turvy too. This can contribute to the holiday stress you’re feeling, not alleviate it. Sure, sugary treats can give you a quick rush of energy, but when your blood sugar drops, you might feel more stressed out and depressed than you did before.
Craving a holiday sugar cookie? Have one, then follow it with an apple and some almond butter. That will curb your craving while helping you keep from binging on sugar. And while a glass of wine or two might give your mood a boost, alcohol has a sedative quality that can rob you of your energy. Alcohol can be dehydrating, so drink plenty of water if you’re imbibing. For each alcoholic beverage you consume, drink 8 ounces of water. During this stressful time of year, try to stick to your regular eating and drinking habits. Remember to take your multivitamin, drink plenty of water, and eat your fruits and veggies.
Pretend It’s SummerYou’ve heard of Christmas in July, how about July during Christmas? If holiday festivities are getting you down, take a break from winter and pretend it’s summer! Put on your shorts and dance around the living room to your favorite Beach Boys tunes. Remember that Spotify playlist you made last summer? Tell Alexa to dial it up. This might be just the boost you need before going outside to shovel that foot of freshly fallen snow from the sidewalk.
Pamper YourselfDuring the season of giving, you might be neglecting the most important person you know: You! Beat holiday stress by treating yourself to a spa day. Has your boss been less than Santa-ish this year? Let a massage therapist work the tension out of your shoulders. Has winter weather left your skin dry and flaky and your complexion lackluster? A facial will help you face the stresses of the season. Don’t forget the manicure and pedicure. Pretty red toes are sure to lift your spirits!
Reduce Holiday Stress with a Getaway
If a living room dance party isn’t enough, get away from it all by planning a vacation. Tired of the snow? Plan a trip to the beach. Live in a place where the weather is warm at Christmastime? Go someplace where there’s snow and try your hand at skiing or snow shoeing. If you’re feeling adventurous, travel to a place where Christmas isn’t celebrated at all! Go online or contact your local travel agent to plan a once-in-a-lifetime getaway. Even if you don’t have time to travel before December 25, or if current restrictions won’t allow it, having a trip on the books for later in the year can give you something to look forward to and can help make the holiday season a little more bright.
The holidays don’t have to be synonymous with stress. Try these tips and make the most of a wonderful holiday season.