We are closing in on the final days of the year and of course the holidays are well upon us 🎁. During this time it can bring many emotions, joy and excitement but it is also not uncommon to experience stress and anxiety. Dealing with shopping, errands, crowds, holiday parties and other social engagements, cleaning, cooking, houseguests - all can be stressors.
It is okay to experience many emotions during this time of year, but also just as important to be aware that our thoughts and emotions can influence our physical health.
Here are some tips to help manage the stress that can come during the holidays:
Take A Walk
We all know we feel better with movement so heading out for a quick walk can be the key when we are feeling stressed. Getting outside has a calming effect and can help with anxiety and the sun offers a feel good burst of serotonin that can help stave off seasonal affective disorder.
Keep Your Healthy Habits
This is key during the holidays or anytime of stress for that matter. Making sure you are getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating a rainbow, with quality fats and proteins. You also should try your best to work in self care, like workouts, book club, or a massage:-)
Say NO to the stuff that doesn’t get you jazzed up and doesn’t matter that much.
If you find yourself saying, “I have to…” or “I should…”, know that neither of these things are true.
Yes, you do have to eat, sleep, drink and pee, but you REALLY do not “have to” do any of the following:
Bake Christmas cookies
Put up and decorate a Christmas tree
Send out holiday cards
Clean your house before guests come over
You get the idea whatever happens this holiday season is YOUR CHOICE
The holidays can bring a long list of commitments. So along the same lines, as “Do Less” you can help manage stress by getting comfortable with the idea that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT.
Make a list of your “to do’s” and pace yourself so that you don’t take on more than you can handle.
This is a great time to reach out and ask for help. Don’t do all the shopping, all the wrapping, all the cooking, all the cleaning. Reach out to friends and family, and ask for help. YES, it is that simple!
While the holidays can be a stressful time, practicing mindfulness can make it possible not only to navigate the stress, but to thrive and transform.