The holidays can be an exciting time of the year. However, it can also be a time of great stress, wrought with financial concerns, unrealistic expectations, difficult relationships and even depression.
It’s important to take care our own needs along with everyone else’s. Here are some practical tips to help you minimize holiday stress, and really enjoy the holiday season:
- It’s a busy time of the year, so build a schedule of moderation. Plan ahead, making time for baking, shopping, cleaning and entertaining. Remember to take time for yourself, too. Spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something to refresh or energize yourself. Listen to soothing music, take a walk, or read a book, just be sure to relax.
- Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another family gathering, remember that holiday celebrations aren’t perfect. Focus on what is important. Keep things simple and positive.
- Don’t overindulge. Keep up with healthy habits. For example, have a healthy snack before going to a party. This will help you to minimize your sugar or cheese intake. And don’t forget to get enough sleep and exercise.
- Set a budget and stick to it. Decide ahead of time how much money you’re willing to spend on food and gifts. This will help you avoid the stress of spending more than you can afford.
- Relationships can be difficult. Stay calm, open and be kind. Try to set aside your differences. Accept family and friends as they are, and not as you might expect them to be. If a conversation gets sensitive, take a deep breath. It’s okay to disagree, but you should also know when to move on to something else.
If these tips aren’t enough to help you relax and enjoy the holidays, or if you find yourself extremely sad or anxious, unable to sleep or face routine tasks, ask your doctor for help. Don’t have a doctor? As a Virginia Premier member, we can help you find a doctor. Just visit our online directory.
For more on self-care, check out these additional resources:
Have a happy and safe holiday season, and take care of yourself.