16 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress
|Elizabeth Gursecki, Staff Writer|
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|The holidays are meant to be a time of gratitude and togetherness, not stress, traffic jams and anxiety. Here are some helpful ways to beat the seasonal stress.||
Holiday season isn’t all about merrymaking and celebrations. For some, it is also the time to get all stressed out and exhausted. When everybody seems to be enjoying the yuletide season with gifts and parties, you might feel overwhelmed and grumpy. Don’t worry, you are not alone. According to Ken Duckworth, MD, the medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, many people perceive the holidays as the worst time of the year. He added that this is true not only for people with clinical depression but for people with relatively stable mental health as well.
If you’re feeling down during the holiday season, maybe it’s the right time kick off the negative vibes and to reduce the stress by doing the following:
Don’t expect too much. Common sense will tell you that expecting too much will only bring frustration and discontentment. Be realistic in setting your expectations. Take the holiday as it comes and work on it based on your capabilities and budget.
Deviate from your routine. This year, why not try something way out of your league? Spend Christmas with your family at a movie theater or at an orphanage. This will bring excitement into your life and color your world anew.
Maintain a close network of family and friends. A support system is very important to keep your sanity. The people you love can give you the emotional, mental and other kinds of support you need to make it through.
Think positive. Keep your cool and don’t assume the worst when entering the holiday season. Just take one moment at a time and you will realize that the season is not that bad after all.
It’s never a bad thing to ask for help. Ask for help when you need it. Request your spouse to help you with the decorations. Ask a family member to help gather some supplies at the supermarket. You might not know it but people are more willing to help than you expected.
Don’t panic. When things get out of control, keep calm. Take time to breathe and the solutions are on their way. Don’t stress out too much on major and even minor issues.
Don’t sulk whenever you remember loved ones. Holidays can remind you of loved ones no longer around. Instead of feeling down, think of something happy to celebrate their memory such as playing your dad’s favorite game or dining at your mom’s favorite restaurant.
Attend the only parties that you want to go to. Don’t overbook yourself with so many activities, dinners and parties that could cause stress and exhaustion. Learn how to say “no” to invitations and think carefully about the parties that you want to attend.
Pace yourself. When you attend a party, it doesn’t mean you have to stay until the wee hours. You can just drop by the occasion, say hi to your friends or relatives and tell them you have other engagements. Don’t stay for long and go home if you really want to.
Get a partner when attending a party. If you don’t want to stay in an office party because you’re feeling tired, talk to a friend and plan some schemes to arrive and leave together. This is useful especially when you want to leave early.
Don’t stress over the “perfect” gift. It’s the thought that counts, so never fuss about finding the best gift for your aunt or girlfriend. It will only bring you additional headache. If you can’t find the right item, you can always opt for a gift certificate.
Online shopping is a good option. To spare yourself from all the inconveniences, the horrors of traffic jam and parking lots, the crowds and overspending, you can shop online.
Set a budget and work within it. Money is one major cause of stress and depression among people, so to keep yourself from the terrible threat of losing your hard-earned savings, stick to a budget and make sure you don’t spend anything beyond it.
Follow your schedule as much as possible. Stick to your normal routine during the holidays. Staying up too late could deprive you of enough rest which could make you moody.
Take time to exercise and eat healthy. Nothing can combat stress better than maintaining an active lifestyle and eating healthy foods. Your body can function well when it is fit and healthy.
Have a break. Pamper yourself and give it enough time and attention. You need to rejuvenate yourself to go on with your daily life.
All these tips will help you enjoy the holidays minus the stress. After all, merry-making doesn’t have to be perfect. Just go with the flow!
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