Let’s be honest, the holiday season can bring an overwhelming amount of stress.
The bustling season is full of tasks and chores as many people prepare to reunite with their loved ones. From hectic travel schedules (delayed, rerouted, and traffic logged) to endless shopping, baking, and cooking, the holiday season can easily turn anyone’s simple schedule into an unmanageable nightmare.
When does stress begin to affect your health?
Stress is best defined as “the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds.”
It is very important to recognize the onset of stress so you can quickly minimize the negative impacts, otherwise you may fall victim to extreme bouts of overwhelming and compounding side effects.
Did you know that over 75% of doctor’s visits are for stress related problems?
Did you also know that high levels of chronic stress can contribute to poor health and can cause tense/sore muscles, insomnia, and headaches? Stress can even exacerbate health ailments like depression, autoimmune disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
Save yourself from the stress of being a Scrooge and check out our top 10 holiday tips for staying sane in the chaos of Christmas:
- Learn to say no.
- This is perhaps the most important rule of all! The holidays are about others and reconnecting with everyone, but sometimes it is just impossible to attend every event you are invited to.
- Don’t feel bad for declining an invitation so you can relax and unwind. This is your season just as much as theirs, but you can always express your regrets with a thoughtful message.
- Stay hydrated.
- The holidays can pack a lot of delicious delicacies that can slowly expand your waistline. In addition, many foods we consume during this time can contain high levels of sodium and unknowingly cause dehydration, which will ultimately put the body under physical stress as we enjoy that extra mug of eggnog or hot chocolate.
- Remember the importance of remaining hydrated and regularly consuming water. If you don’t have a portable water bottle why not ask Santa for one?
- Plan, plan, plan.
- There’s an old aphorism out there that states, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” During a season where every second counts (especially as Christmas draws nearer) stress can spike for many of us as we prepare the final and finishing touches on our to-do list.
- Block out your time and stick to your schedule. Prioritize your routine against your holiday errands and don’t forget to pencil in some personal time!
- Forget about perfection!
- For many people this can be especially tough, but life can even throw a wrench into the best made plans. From cooking disasters to disappointed last-minute shoppers, always remember the reason for the season: coming together with family and loved ones to celebrate the special time of togetherness. When the unexpected hits so does a tsunami of stress. Listen to Disney when they sing, “Let it go!”
- Find and fuse your bliss.
- Many people sacrifice what makes them happy during this time of year while they prepare for the holidays. Try and combine activities as best you can. Instead of buying gifts, why not make some? Make gift-wrapping fun and set it to your favorite music (even if it isn’t Christmas themed!).
- Bake holiday treats with family or friends instead of buying them. Multi-tasking chores and hobbies can go a long way!
- Take a technology holiday.
- Constant buzzing, relentless alerts, and never-ending e-vites can cause a serious surge in stress as you begin to feel overwhelmed and out-of-control by the perpetual contact. Take back control and just turn it off once in a while, especially during your private and personal down time. The world will still turn while you secretly slip away.
- Strategically solicit help.
- Depending on your situation, the holiday season may include both work and family, which can cause an unbearable amount of stress as you navigate your personal and professional life during this hectic time. Refrain from mass e-mails that ask for volunteers and stick to personal one-on-one interactions as much as you can.
- Often times, many will shrug of the responsibility of helping by assuming someone else will pick up the slack but when confronted personally, they will feel more inclined to say yes.
- Remember the intimacy.
- Don’t leave your partner feeling left out in the cold as you tackle your daily agenda. Warm up with one another and enjoy the private moments together.
- Team-up against holiday stress and keep it fun (mistletoe anyone?). The greatest gift is the joy from the feeling of being loved. Make this the gift that keeps on giving.
- Walk it off.
- Sometimes stress can overwhelm us to the point where it can only be released through physical exercise. The phrase “let off some steam” comes to mind, here. Take a twenty to thirty minute brisk walk or opt for a light jog.
- Many exercise routines are shrugged off during this time and it is important to remember the benefits of physical activity. Reset your body and get it moving. You’ll be glad you did!
- Soak up the sun.
- Ever wonder why people can become particularly gloomy during the winter months? Researchers have attributed this seasonal depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), to a lack of sunlight which gives us that happy boost of Vitamin D.
- As mentioned above, combining your passions can successfully arm you against fighting stress, so why not take a walk or a hike when the sun is out and brightly shining? Can’t stand the cold? Flood your home with natural light or consider talking to your doctor about phototherapy, a device that emits full-spectrum light.
Don’t let the holiday season turn you into a Scrooge. This is the time for good family, good friends, and good food, so don’t take it for granted. Use these 10 tips to make this holiday season the best (and most relaxing) one in years.
If you need a little extra help alleviating stress this holiday season, don’t hesitate to come see us. We help get you back on track physically so that you feel great, you’re pain free, and you’re ready to actually enjoy the holidays. Click the button below to set up your appointment today!
What do you think about our list? If we missed something, let us know. What is your secret weapon to keeping stress at bay during the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.