The holidays are often a very stressful time of year. Not keeping stress in check can lead to even more stress during the most wonderful time of the year. The good news is that there are ways to prevent stress and stay sane during the holidays so that you can enjoy your loved ones and celebrations.
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Talk it Out: Find a close friend and just talk to them. Getting whatever is causing your stress off of your chest will make a world of difference. Make sure the person you talk to is trustworthy and not a source of your stress, however. You need to be able to be completely honest and open with this person for them to help you in relieving some stress.
Watch Your Budget: It feels good to buy great gifts for everyone on your list, but your bank account and credit card debt may not like this very much. Finances are a major source of stress during the holidays. Your family will not love you any less if you do not get them the most expensive gifts. They just want your love and company. So, create a reasonable budget and stick with it. You will have less stress and enjoy the holidays a lot more.
Throw Perfection Out the Window: Things are not going to go flawlessly. There may be a hot toy that you will not be able to find, a pie that gets a little burned or you may be a few minutes late to a party due to traffic or weather. The holidays never go perfectly. Just know that things can and will happen and regardless, everything will still be fine. In a nutshell, give yourself permission to let go of the things that are out of your control and do not over-analyze the things in your control.
Maintain Your Healthy Habits: It may be hard to exercise with family staying at your house, or to stick to healthy foods with so many tempting treats. However, it is important to keep your healthy habits because this will help make you feel better and you will not have to worry about feeling guilty for over-eating or not exercising. Now, this is not to say that you have to be flawless, but instead of eating in excess, eat the portions you would normally eat and then get your workouts in as you normally would. Your body and mind will thank you. It is also important to keep sugar and fats to a minimum because these can make us just not feel our healthiest.
Plan Ahead: Few things are as stressful as getting things done last minute. Get your shopping done in advance and do a check about a month before a big dinner or party to make sure that you have everything you will need. This way you will have an entire month to get those odds and ends. When the big day comes, you will be able to just concentrate on getting everything together and will not be in a position where you have to rush to the stores to find one or two items that are often flying off the shelves during the holidays.
Do Some Deep Breathing: When you feel like steam is about to start coming out of your ears, take 15 minutes, go somewhere where you can be alone and do some deep breathing. If you have a house full of people, go out to your car. Just find a quiet place where you can get comfortable, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 to 15 minutes. This will calm your nerves and restore your inner calm.
About the Author: Richard Tucker is a father of 2 who has been writing about self-improvement and simple living for many years. When he’s not writing, you can find Rich reviewing energy efficient elevator replacement components.