Author: Bree Maloney, Comm. Manager
It’s that time of year – shopping, presents, parties, family, friends, the list goes on. What goes on the top, bottom and in between that list is stress. The holidays are known to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but it can also be the most stressful. Going through your Instagram feed can make you feel like everyone is all perfectly put together and enjoying the winter season. Though the reality is – everything isn’t going to be warm hot chocolate and mistletoe. How I see it, Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. It’s not a movie, it’s simply – real life.
So, the real question is, how can you both manage and prevent the onset of holiday stress? Here are some easy ways that I’ve learned that have helped me:
1. It’s okay to say no: Invitations to parties, people asking you for favors, volunteering, etc. The holidays have a lot going on. The problem is, you’re still just ONE human being. Know that it’s okay to say no. Unless you absolutely must attend an event or do a favor for someone, remember to not overload yourself; you’ll burn out. Do yourself a favor and learn to say no.
2. Don’t get caught up in the expectations: We all have dreams about the ways the holidays are supposed to be. With the addition of Pinterest and HGTV, most people are setting unrealistic expectations. Everything can’t look like a cover of a magazine. Make sure you communicate your expectations to your family and friends early on, so you know what to expect. No surprises!
3. Financial stress: The holiday season is about giving to others, not about spending money. Though most gifts cost money, make sure you set a budget and be transparent. It’s important to not overspend and keep in mind that “less is more.” It’s silly, but sometimes more personal gifts are the best ones – framed photos, DIY calendar, tickets to a show, etc. Remember it’s the act of giving that makes it meaningful.
4. Health and wellness: During the colder winter months and holiday gatherings, there’s typically an uptick in colds, flus, and not feeling well. Especially over the last few years when most deprive themselves of staying away from parties and family gatherings, more people are going out and partaking in the festivities. Being around family and friends is a good thing and can help with reducing your stress. Remember to be smart about your own health and wellness by washing yours hands, bundling up when you’re outside and getting enough sleep to keep your immune system up.
5. Unplug: It’s proven when you look through your Instagram or Facebook feed your mood can change. It can make you feel jealous, sad, happy and confused. Nowadays we are addicted to our electronic devices such as phones and TVs. Take some time to unplug – it can be as simple as a morning or afternoon. Play with your kids, go for a walk, or read a book. Let your brain slowdown from the constant bombardment of advertisements telling you to buy, buy, buy!
6. Don’t overindulge, but do exercise: You’re probably just coming off your Thanksgiving food coma hangover, but round two of Christmas is just around the corner. Remember to pace yourself, try your best not to go for seconds and go easy on the booze. Yes, we need to enjoy the holidays, but don’t go too overboard. Remember to exercise. Walking, light jogging, biking or taking a workout class with a friend are all great options. Those endorphins go a long way!
Remember there’s no remedy to have no stress over the holidays. Knowing that you’re going to be stressed no matter what is half the battle. Take these simple steps to help ease both your mind and body. What’s the best gift you could give to yourself? Being present (pun intended). Live in the moment and catch yourself if you begin to think about past holiday problems or a photo you saw on your feed. Learn to cultivate appreciation of your family and friends that are in your life now. Have a great holiday season!
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.