The holidays are a stressful and busy time for many of us. Here’s how you can make things a little easier on yourself.
The holidays are one of the most low-key stressful times of the year. Yeah, yeah, we all love to talk about the wonders of family and eggnog and eating delicious food, but we forget that it’s a time filled with stressors like expenses, traveling in crap airports and dramatic family reunions. The holidays are great and all, but if you’re struck with anxiety when just looking at your “to do” list, you’re certainly not alone.
Making matters worse is the fact that we’re so busy during the month that we forget about basic habits that keep us healthy and sane. Working out, having a set sleeping and waking routine, the comfort of your own bed — all of this is altered during the holidays and can greatly affect just about anyone.
Here are 5 tips that can help you relieve holiday stress (and stressful situations in general) and keep your cool during this crazy time of year.
Try to ignore your family’s most annoying traits
If someone in your family is trying to get you to talk politics with them or asking you relentless questions about your job and relationships, or forcing you to have a bite of that cake you want to steer clear from, take a deep breath. They’re most likely trying to show that they love you or wanting to catch up with you. Have some patience for these kinds of behavior and understand that the holidays bring out different behaviors in people.
Take breaks to calm down
In the mornings when you wake up or whenever you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed, take a minute to yourself in private and take some deep breaths. Use these 2 or 5 minutes to calm down, be with yourself and gain some perspective. These breathing techniques can also be practiced when traveling in a packed airport, buying groceries, speaking with annoying relatives, you name it.
Exercise is one of the best ways to promote mental health during any time period in your life, especially a stressful one. Try to go for runs as a group activity so you can still share with your friends and family, or try to walk around as best as you can. These moments also allow for introspection and can act as a much needed break from everything holiday related.
Try to eat mostly real foods
It’s easy to live on sweets during the holidays, but try to focus on real foods as best as you can. While it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of enjoyment and health during the holidays, consuming all of those processed sweets will affect your happiness, lead to more fatigue and an even harder time adapting to your routine once the holidays are over.
Ask for help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have too many things to get done in a short span of time, talk to someone. If you need help decorating the tree or doing Christmas shopping there’s no need for you to do that all on your own. Ask a friend or close person to join you on these tasks, making them feel lighter and much more fun.