Emotions, Time Managmeent

7 Secrets to a Stress-Free Holiday

As we enter the season of  corporate parties and social events, many find themselves stressed and overwhelmed. Add to this the other major holiday stressor – family – and self-care becomes a necessity that is usually left out of the already packed schedules.  Here are 7 ways to prepare for the holiday season and head into the new year in a healthy and positive state of mind.

1. Get outdoors

It’s amazing what just 10-15 minutes of sunlight can do for a person’s mood.  Even if it’s a quick walk around the block during your lunch break, soaking in some daylight is one of nature’s best cures for the winter blues.  If it’s cold be sure to bundle up properly and don’t forget the sunglasses!

2.Take the stress out of shopping

Who says you have to guess what the “perfect” gift is for the aunt you see once a year or your office Secret Santa.  Take the work out of the shopping and request a wish list.  Amazon allows you to create and share lists with friends and family. Great for out of town relatives and those hard to buy for family members.    As far as your immediate family, I’m sure you’ve seen this strategy on social media but I am really going to try and embrace it this year.  Buy just 4 gifts: 1 to wear, 1 to read, 1 they want, 1 they need.  In this case it’s quality over quantity but they don’t have to be expensive either.

3. Keep your exercise routine

Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to give up the exercise.  In fact, it’s probably need more now than any other time of the year. Even better, find some accountability partners and exercise together. You don’t even have to be in the same place (or time zone). Use Zoom to video conference with each other and then get your workout on!

4. Give yourself an out

Even if you normally stay with family when you are home for the holidays, it doesn’t mean you absolutely have to this year.  Be honest about your intentions, ” We want the time we spend with you to be special and stress-free and we need our own space so we’ll stay at the hotel but come over every day”.   Be prepared for pushback, but stay strong and let them know it’s either this way or you will not be coming at all.

5. Don’t Forget to Sleep

With so much to get done, there may be temptation to skip sleep.   Yet, this is exactly opposite of what is needed.  Be sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, or you’ll be left still stressed and even more exhausted.  For more sleep tips, check out this post.

6. Use the Holidays to Show Compassion

The season is supposed to be about giving.  So get out with your family or friends and give.   Find an Angel Tree in your community or sign-up for a shift at the local Food Bank or Soup Kitchen.  The act of giving unto others will like put everything else into a new perspective.   Additionally, no matter your belief, say “Thank You, You too!” to any holiday greeting! Make this time about joy and peace and your Holidays will be stress-free and enjoyable.

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