Holiday Stress ManagementDecember 15th, 2010
With all the gift-giving, meal-making, and parties to attend, the holiday season can be very stressful. For some, it’s even downright miserable. Beat holiday stress this year with these 10 easy tips!The Holidays are supposed to be a time for vacation, relaxation, and fun, but for many people they’re also a time filled with stress. Whether it’s the pressure to buy the perfect gift, to create an incredible meal, to impress the relatives and in-laws, or to decorate your house like a magazine ad, surveys have reported that just about everyone feels quite a bit of holiday stress or depression.
In fact, Holiday stress statistics reported by the APA show that up to 69% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time”, 69% are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money”, and 51% feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or get gifts”. That’s a lot of stressed-out people!
Fortunately, avoiding holiday stress can be as simple and easy as following these 10 simple tips!
Holiday Stress Relievers – 10 Easy Techniques
1. Ask For Help. One of the best tips for holiday stress is to avoid trying to do everything completely on your own. From the cooking to the cleaning to the shopping, enlist the help of family and friends. Handling holiday stress is difficult enough; don’t try to do it all alone! Make a list and delegate duties so that everyone has a task to complete.
2. Forget About Perfection. If you can manage to let go of the expectation that your holiday will go perfectly, you’ll be able to save yourself a great deal of unnecessary stress. Things never go exactly as planned (see Murphy’s Law), so don’t worry about achieving perfection and instead focus on completion. Roll with the punches, remember that your goal is to have fun, and abandon unrealistic expectations that only get in the way of truly enjoying the moment. Handling holiday stress is as easy as remembering that “okay is good enough”.
3. Stick To A Budget. Instead of cringing over the amount of money you’ll spend between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, create a realistic budget and make sure to stick to it. Outspending your budget creates stress at every time of year, but especially during the Holidays. Huge credit card bills are one of the worst threats to coping with holiday stress. Avoid them at all costs!
4. Set Aside Some “Me Time”. Schedule personal time to unwind and relax from all of the craziness of the season. Take time to get your nails done, grab a coffee with a friend, take a bike ride, or simply escape to a quiet place and read a book. Stress puts a terrible toll on the body, so do everything that you possibly can to relax and reduce holiday stress.
5. Plan And Do Ahead. The real secret to surviving holiday stress is preparation. As you’ve probably heard before – Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Don’t be a victim of procrastination! Get things done ahead of time, do your shopping early (and online), and avoid the hustle and bustle that would otherwise leave you exhausted.
6. Be Selective With Your Calendar. You’re going to get a lot invitations, with many people vying for your time and attention. Remember that dealing with holiday stress becomes more difficult when you don’t even have time to breathe (let alone sleep!), and pick your functions wisely. Bottom line: You don’t have to attend everything.
7. Avoid Over-drinking. With all the parties come not only an abundance of good food and company, but alcohol as well. Keep in mind that having too much to drink equals holiday stress. Hangovers and the holidays just don’t go together well. Of all the holiday stress relief tips, this one may seem the least interesting, or effective, but avoiding excess alcohol could go a long way toward reducing your stress level.
8. Stay Fit & Remain Healthy. Nothing spells holiday stress relief like getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy diet. While playing couch potato and chowing down on bon-bons may seem tempting, continuing your normal workout routing will help you to avoid holiday weight gain and stay healthy during vacation. Indulge a bit, but remain consistent with a diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, healthy fats and lean proteins. Avoid the added stress of not being able to zip up your jeans come New Year’s Day!
9. Shop Online. Why battle throngs of people at the mall? Aren’t you sick of fighting for parking spots already? With today’s technology, there’s no longer any real need to stand in line. Completing your shopping tasks online offers the convenience of never having to leave the comfort of your own home. Limiting the number of times you have to battle for parking is a key technique to managing holiday stress.
10. Avoid The Busy Times. Nothing causes quite as much stress as those nasty traffic jams, right? You might get to spend the rest of your year experiencing the pleasures of gridlock, but why make things worse by battling it during the holidays? Traveling during off-hours is one of the most successful holiday stress busters available, and one of the easiest to actually perform.
And finally, our best piece of advice is to avoid coping with holiday stress by preventing it from occurring in the first place. Plan ahead, consider your options, and take care of the things that have to be dealt with right away, leaving the rest for New Year’s Resolutions. Take it easy, stay safe, and enjoy your time off.
Happy Holidays from all of us at HealthcareColleges.net!