The holidays are a time of joy and happiness, but for many they can also be a time of stress. Between hosting family gatherings, traveling to see loved ones, gift-buying and cooking holiday meals, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed which is the last thing you need. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll share 15 tips and tricks to help reduce stress during the holidays. From hosting family get-togethers to tips for budgeting and cooking during the festive season. So read on and remember to relax!
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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that occurs during the winter months. People with SAD may experience symptoms such as fatigue, sadness, irritability and feelings of loneliness. They may also have difficulty concentrating and sleeping. While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, it is thought to be related to the change in daylight hours during the winter. The lack of sunlight may trigger a chemical imbalance in the brain that leads to depression. For some people, SAD may be mild and only cause a slight decrease in energy levels. Others may have major depressive episodes that make it difficult to function on a daily basis. If you think you may be suffering from SAD, it is important to talk to your doctor. There are several treatment options available that can help improve your symptoms of depression.
15 Tips and Tricks to Reduce Stress During the Holidays
One of the best ways to avoid stress during the holidays is to plan ahead. However, there will be times when something will go wrong. It could be an overcooked turkey, a clogged sink, or even a toppled Christmas tree. Instead of stressing out over the smallest of mistakes, resolve to roll with the punches and deal with the situation as it arises.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the holidays
For many of us, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a very busy and stressful time of year. In order to enjoy the holidays to the fullest, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to prepare. This means starting your shopping early, so you can avoid the crowds and the last-minute rush. It also means getting your home ready for guests and taking care of any other tasks that need to be done in advance. By planning ahead and giving yourself ample time to prepare, you can ensure that you’ll have a happy and stress-free holiday season.
2. Don’t set unrealistic expectations
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish. If you set your sights too high, you’re likely to end up feeling disappointed and discouraged. On the other hand, if you set your expectations too low, you may find yourself bored or unfulfilled. The key is to find a happy medium, setting goals that challenge you without being impossible to achieve. This doesn’t mean that you should always play it safe; sometimes it’s good to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. However, it’s important to be honest with yourself about what you’re actually capable of achieving. By setting realistic expectations, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated and engaged in whatever it is you’re pursuing.
3. Take a break when needed – even if it’s just 10 minutes
It’s important to take a break when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, taking some time for yourself can make a big difference. If you can, immediately step away from whatever is causing you stress and do something that you enjoy. Take a short walk, read a book or listen to music. If you can’t get away from the source of your stress, try deep breathing exercises or visualization. picturing yourself in a calm, relaxing place can help to reduce your stress levels. Remember, it’s important to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please give yourself a break. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Stick to your daily routine as much as possible
Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner when you normally do and get a good night’s sleep. When we stick to a regular schedule, our bodies get used to it and start functioning more efficiently. This is especially true when it comes to mealtimes. Our digestive systems work best when we eat at predictable times, and this can help to prevent issues like indigestion, heartburn, and weight gain. Regular routines are a great way to help ground us and provide a sense of structure and stability, especially in times of change or chaos. They can also increase our efficiency and productivity, as we are less likely to waste time making decisions about what to do next. And for many people, routines can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Of course, there will always be times when our routines need to be adapted, but in general, it is best to stick to them as much as possible.
5. Make a to-do list and try to stick to it
The holidays are a hectic time for many people, with cooking, shopping, and wrapping presents often taking precedence over everything else. As a result, it can be easy to lose track of what needs to get done and end up feeling frazzled. One way to avoid this is to make a list of all the things you need to do during the holiday season, and then try to stick to it as closely as possible. This will help you stay organized and focused, and will prevent you from forgetting important tasks. Of course, there will always be some unexpected surprises along the way. But by being prepared and staying calm, you can minimize the chaos and enjoy holiday events more.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
We know this one is hard to accomplish but in the grand scheme of things, it’s easy to see that the little things don’t really matter. Whether you misplaced your keys or burned your dinner, these mishaps are ultimately inconsequential. Of course, that doesn’t make them any less annoying. In the moment, it can be hard to see past our frustration and remember that these problems are ultimately minor. However, if we can learn to let go of the small stuff, we’ll be much happier in the long run. After all, life is too short to sweat the minute details. So next time you’re feeling stressed about something trivial, take deep breaths and remind yourself that it’s not worth getting worked up about.
7. Ask for help
It helps to have a support system of friends and family members you can rely on. Whether you’re struggling with a personal issue or just feeling bogged down by everyday stressors, reaching out to your loved ones can make a world of difference. They can offer words of encouragement, lend a listening ear or even help you out with whatever is causing you to feel overwhelmed. Just knowing that you have people in your corner who care about you and want to help can be a huge source of comfort. So next time you’re feeling down, don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones for support. Chances are they’ll be more than happy to help you through whatever is going on.
8. Avoid overindulging in food and alcohol – moderation is key!
The holiday season is a time for friends, family, and delicious food and drink. However, it can also be a time when we overindulge, leading to feelings of guilt and regret. But there’s no need to deprive yourself of holiday cheer – moderation is key! Indulging in your favorite holiday treats is part of the fun, but try to balance it out with healthy snacks and plenty of water. Alcohol can be tempting, but remember that it dehydrates the body and can contribute to weight gain. So enjoy yourself this holiday season, but don’t go overboard! Your body will thank you for it.
9. Set a holiday budget – don’t overspend on gifts or decorations
The holidays are a time for giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to go into debt to show your loved ones how much you care. One way to avoid overspending is to set a budget and stick to it. Decide how much you can realistically afford to spend, and then make a list of the people you need to buy for. Once you have a firm budget in mind, take some time to shop around for the best deals. You may be surprised at how far your money can go if you’re willing to be creative.
When it comes to gifts, homemade items or experiences can often be more thoughtful and memorable than anything you could buy in a store. And when it comes to decorating your home, simple is often better. Keep your holiday decorating under control by choosing a few key pieces that really capture the spirit of the season.
Download the Free Holiday Planner Printable by Brooklyn Active Mama.
10. Plan ahead – start shopping for gifts and wrapping paper in early November
The holidays are an exciting time, but it can also be a very stressful time of the year. Shopping for gifts, preparing Christmas dinner, and dealing with family can all be sources of anxiety. One way to reduce stress during the holidays is to plan ahead. For example, start shopping for gifts and wrapping paper in early November. This will give you plenty of time to find the perfect present for everyone on your list, and it will also help you avoid the last-minute rush that can leave you feeling frazzled. Additionally, try to finish your Christmas shopping by December 10th for online shipping and by December 20th for in-store shopping. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the holidays instead of spending all of your time running around looking for last-minute deals. By following these simple tips, you can make the holiday season a more enjoyable experience for yourself and your loved ones.
11. Pre-cook as much as possible
We all know that the holidays are all about big feasts! But if you’re the one responsible for cooking these huge meals, it can be extremely overwhelming. One way to ease the extra pressure on yourself is to pre-cook as much as possible in advance. For example, you can make all of the side dishes a day or two ahead of time and then simply reheat it on the day of the meal. By doing some of the work in advance, you’ll be able to enjoy the perfect holiday feast without all the stress.
12. Avoid negative people who always seem to find something to complain about
This tip is really, really, really important! Seriously. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity of those around us. You know the type: always finding something to complain about, whether it’s the weather, their job or that one co-worker who drives them crazy. Maybe you have a relative like this, or maybe you work with someone who is always grousing about something. Either way, it can be tough to maintain a positive attitude when you’re constantly bombarded with negativity.
One key to happiness is surrounding yourself with positive people who make you feel good about yourself. These are the people who will build you up, not tear you down and will have a negative impact on your well-being. They’re the ones who will encourage you to reach for your goals and support you when you stumble. So if you find yourself surrounded by negative people, try to distance yourself from them. Spend more time with positive people, and soon you’ll find your own outlook on life improving.
13. Say no to holiday parties and set boundaries
Although it may be difficult to decline invitations, saying no to holiday gatherings can be a good way to reduce stress. The holiday season is a time of gratitude and generosity, and saying yes to every holiday gathering can lead to exhaustion, financial stress and other undesirable consequences. When in doubt, say “no” politely, explaining that you have other plans and commitments.
14. Make time to relax & exercise
The holidays can be overwhelming, but there are ways to de-stress during this busy time. A relaxing bubble bath, for example, is excellent for stress relief. You can also use scented candles and holiday bath bombs to make the experience even more festive. Exercise is an important way to deal with stress. You can also engage in relaxing activities, such as yoga and meditation.
15. Have a positive outlook
A positive attitude is essential during the holidays. Avoid thinking negatively about the season, which will trigger your stress response. Instead, focus on the joys of the season and the people you love. When you feel happy and optimistic, you can cope better with challenges and avoid stress.
In summary, recognize and acknowledge your feelings. Stress can be debilitating and negatively impact your health. Listen to your body’s signals and consider ways to cope. If you are able to learn new ways of managing stress, you can be better prepared for the holiday season. It is important to acknowledge the range of emotions you may be experiencing and make sure that you give yourself time to explore them.
As the holiday season draws near, it can be difficult to stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed and depressed. However, by following these tips, you can keep yourself balanced and happy at the same time. You can enjoy your family’s company while minimizing worry. If you find it difficult to stop feeling overwhelmed, seek professional help. Your physician can refer you to a mental health care provider who can help you cope with holiday pressure.