Stress can cause things such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Understanding the causes of stress will help you identify ways to cope with it more effectively. The most common cause of stress in today’s society is time-related pressure.
It is no surprise that there’s no busier time than the holiday season. And while some will argue it’s the best time of the year, many people also find this time extremely stressful. Whether it’s getting your shopping done on time, staying under a certain spending budget, or remembering to buy gifts for everyone on your list. We have compiled a list of ways to help you reduce stress and enjoy the holidays a little more.
Stress Management for the Holidays:
Have you ever wished you were the person who finishes buying all their holiday gifts by December 1st? Or have you ever gone to buy a gift a few days before Christmas only to find that it has been sold out? Planning ahead can ensure you are on top of everything this year. Begin by making a list and prioritizing what’s most important. Whether it’s a list of gifts that you need to purchase, relatives you want to visit with, or holiday dinner preparations, write them down to keep track of everything. Organize your time as well as pace yourself so you are not trying to get everything done on the same day. Understand that things will not always go as planned and that is okay. Once you let go of the things you can’t control, you’re already on the right track to reducing stress.
Set a Budget
It’s no surprise the holidays can be a financial strain for many people. One may easily unintentionally overspend while others may feel defeated by the pressure to forgo a certain gift because they can’t afford it. Having a budget at the start of the holiday season and sticking to it will help you shop smarter. You will also be glad you did when the holiday season is over.
Prioritize Gift Wrapping
Putting off wrapping a gift is the only thing worse than waiting to buy one at the last minute. Gift wrapping is as important as the gift itself. With just a little more effort from your side, you will make the receiver of the gift feel even more special. If you are stressed about time, and it fits your budget, you may consider hiring someone to wrap your gifts.
It is important to take this time to acknowledge your feelings. Do not be afraid to seek support from anyone. Support can come from a lot of different people or places. Reaching out to other family members and friends can be a huge part of feeling less stressed during this time of year. Professional help can also be very helpful if stress becomes more serious.
Take Care of Your Health
Holiday stress can take a major toll on anyone’s well-being mentally or physically. It may even worsen or trigger those who suffer from anxiety and depression normally. One thing for sure is that you can’t force yourself to be happy. So, acknowledge your feelings and don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t feeling the most cheerful and excited as others. Here are a few ways for maintaining good physical health.
- Get plenty of sleep each night (at least 8 hours)
- Try to exercise regularly
- Eat a well-balanced diet. It is okay to a few extra calories here and there but don’t let holiday weight gain slow you down
- Take time to unwind
- Stick to your health routine as much as possible
Don’t Lose Sight of What Matters
Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. The holiday season should be about happy memories that are worth more than any gift. Christmas isn’t about spending hours trying to find the perfect thing to buy for your loved ones. There are many opportunities for you to keep the Christmas magic alive for example volunteering or donating presents to underprivileged children.
The truth is that many people may be having a hard time during the holidays. There may be disappointments, arguments, and frustrations, in addition to excitement and joy. Try to go with the flow, allowing for inevitable delays and setbacks. Do not have the expectation of perfection from yourself or others around you. Do not feel guilty about your sadness or try to force yourself to be happy just because it is the holiday season. Be aware of how you are feeling and how the holiday season is affecting you.
The bottom line is that holiday stress can ruin the joy of the season for both you and your loved ones. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can free yourself from the stress and unhappiness that arises from it.
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