Holidays are a time of joy and celebration, yet incredibly stressful! Family obligations, extra expenses, traveling, finding time to plan festive meals, cook, clean, buy gifts and host guests can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, some practical tips can help minimize stress enabling you to enjoy your holidays and move through the season with greater ease
1. Minimize Social Obligations
With the endless stream of work parties, family gatherings and social commitments, it’s no wonder nearly 70% of people report an increase in stress over the holidays. Being willing to say ‘no’ to some or all invitations and fill your calendar only with events you wish to attend in person or virtually will decrease stress levels dramatically.
2. Make a Plan - and Stick to It
Planning ahead and prioritizing what really matters (e.g., spending quality time with loved ones) can reduce stress. If you are hosting family or friends, simplify preparations by creating a menu to stay organized and make shopping easier. Setting a realistic budget for how much you can afford to spend on gifts and staying within your means will also alleviate financial stress.
3. Stay Physically Active
Exercise is one of the best defenses against holiday stress. A short workout can help you unwind your body and mind, sleep better, and stay on track with your diet and weight. Going for a group walk with family and friends or playing a game together are great opportunities to fit in extra exercise while having fun.
4. Prepare Healthy Snacks
Having fresh fruit and vegetables on hand that you can fill up on before a party or during a family gathering can minimize cravings to indulge in tempting but unhealthy holiday foods. Curbing sugary treats that can zap your energy will also help lower stress and reduce emotional eating.
5. Relax, Take a Breath
Don’t ignore your own needs during the holidays. Be mindful to take breaks, go for a jog, nap, meditate, do yoga or watch a funny movie to relax. Listening to music, lighting candles and adding aromatic scents like rosemary, lemon and vanilla to your environment can create a positive, calming atmosphere as well as lift your mood.
6. Give Thanks
Taking time to pause and reflect on the gifts you’ve been given, and what you are most thankful for can bring peace to your holidays. Research has shown that expressing appreciation to yourself and others creates positive emotions and reduces stress. In fact, people who practice gratitude regularly are healthier, happier and enjoy better relationships.
For more healthy tips, contact WP Creative Wellness. Find out how you can create a more stress-free lifestyle and step into the New Year with greater ease, joy, balance and wellbeing.