Less stress, more joy for the holidays

roastPosted on November 11, 2013
From Healthy Communities, Autumn 2013

You may be looking forward to the coming weeks as a fun time to reconnect with friends and family.

But, you may also be dreading how hectic and stressful your life usually becomes.

Here are a few tips to reduce the stress and maximize the joy this coming holiday season:

  • Be realistic! Don’t pile on the pressure by trying to make everything perfect—or expect that family problems will be put on hold. Focus on one or two traditions that are special to you and set your limits.
  • Don’t overspend. Match your gift giving with your budget. Don’t buy gifts that you’ll still be paying off next year. Consider giving something that is personal and meaningful, like a handmade craft or even making a long-distance call.
  • Know your limits. Assign others tasks from your to-do lists. Get together with friends to share decorating, wrapping gifts and preparing a meal. Learn to say “no” when you’re too busy or simply don’t care to participate.
  • Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, exercise, limit caffeine and alcohol, and eat healthy. It’s easy to overeat or turn to “comfort” foods when you’re stressed, which often make you feel worse physically and emotionally.
  • Get support. The holiday season can trigger sadness over a broken relationship, loved ones who are gone or far away or traditions that have changed. If you’re feeling extra blue, reach out to those around you. Talk to your doctor about counseling or medication.
  • Stay calm and have fun. Make quiet time for yourself to listen to music, take a walk with your pet, watch a favorite TV show or just meditate. Do things you consider fun. Stay in the moment, and feel the joy!

Read more helpful articles in our member magazine, Healthy Communities.

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The information written about in this blog is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek care from a medical professional when you have a health concern.