Deal with Stress this Holiday Season

 How to Deal With Stress -Holiday Season

Written by Alan Anderson

The holiday season is supposed to be about sharing great times with family and friends. However, it can spiral into a period of over-indulgence and stress. It is so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of parties and holiday activity that leave us completely drained.

Finally, the impact of holiday stress can take its toll on our relationships and personal well-being.

I speak from first-hand experience, as I used to finish each holiday season needing a vacation. That’s why I wanted to share my favorite eight tips on how to deal with stress this holiday season to help you stay happy, healthy and full of energy.

How to Deal With Stress- Budget

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #1 – Money Makes the World Go Around

Money and finances can be a major source of stress for many families during the holiday season. Often, this stress is caused by greater than normal spending. The key to reducing money worries is to make a simple budget.

Creating a budget gives you control and flexibility over what and where you spend your money. This can help to relieve the stress and arguments that often come with overspending.

Also, it helps you to make sure you have money to cover regular bills, while having a great holiday season.

How to Deal With Stress- Plan

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #2 – What’s Happening?

Making rough plans and writing them down is a great way of reducing stress during busy times.

The holiday season is no different because it can be a time of extreme activity and stress. Give yourself a big break by planning a rough map of your holiday season. It can be as simple as listing the where, what, who, when and how of achieving a great holiday season.

This means setting aside time for shopping, cooking, visiting friends and any other holiday activities.

Take the pressure off yourself by planning your meals ahead and make a shopping lists. This can make sure that you are not caught out at the last minute. Running around to get those forgotten items can create unwanted stress.

Letting Go!

While you are in planning mode, make sure you give yourself the gift of time to enjoy this holiday season.

So, stop trying to be everything to everyone. In fact, you need to learn to let go of doing everything yourself.  Learn to enjoy more time for yourself by doing less. The simple solution involves the art of delegation.

Firstly, be prepared to let go and allow other people to take on some of the work. Secondly, take time to prepare a list of people and the tasks that you can delegate to them.

I used to be a control freak and had to do everything myself. Not anymore. Learn to become an event leader, not the only worker overwhelmed by the huge workload.

I found that being a perfectionist was a huge source of stress for me. Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so lose the perfectionism.

how to deal with stress- delegate

Overcome Fatigue

Don’t try to do too much. Fatigue, over scheduling, and taking on too many tasks can dampen your spirits. Learn to say no, delegate as much as possible and manage your time wisely.

That way, you will have more energy to enjoy the most important part of the season – friends and family.

The key is not to over-schedule your time so that you can have some flexibility.

With just a little planning ahead you can set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities.

Also, learn to plan your menus and make your shopping lists. This is a great way to reduce the stress caused by last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients.

As part of your planning, make sure to line up help for party preparation and clean up. With a little planning, you will not be left doing everything.

The art of delegation is a powerful skill to learn and a great way of reducing holiday stress.

How to Deal With Stress- exercise

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #3 – The Great Outdoors

One of the best ways I found to deal with holiday stress is to take long walks in nature.

This is a proven way of reducing stress. That’s because, when we hike or walk in nature, our brain produces serotonin which is also called the ‘feel good’ hormone.

Getting outside each day for a little winter sun, if you are that lucky, can also help you produce vitamin D which is vital to your well-being.

Also, getting a dose of daylight gives your brain a clear signal between night and day so that your sleep quality is less affected.

Any regular exercise can help to reduce holiday stress. Unfortunately, we often pack so many activities into the holiday season, it’s easy to give up on regular exercise.

You don’t have to go to the gym every day. However, it is still important to include some regular exercise during the holiday period.

That’s why taking walks before or after big holiday meals is a great way of stimulating your digestive system.

Here is another little trick I use to reduce the impact of too many parties and over eating.

Try eating a small healthy snack before each party. This can help you feel full so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.

 How to Deal With Stress- self-care

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #4 – Treat Yourself

It is so easy to put our total focus on others during the busy holiday season. Often, this means that we often forget about ourselves and our own well-being.

So, one of the best ways reduce stress and maintain your well-being is to plan some time out for yourself. Therefore, in your written plan from tip #2, make sure you plan some time out for yourself to renew and rejuvenate mind and body.

Here are some ideas I use to recharge mind, body and spirit.

Keep your holiday plans flexible to make sure you allow time for rest and sleep.

If you are feeling stressed, don’t forget the power of aromatherapy. Citrus oil in a bath or in an aromatherapy burner can help lift your mood. According to experts, citrus oil increases the levels of the hormone norepinephrine which helps to reduce stress.

The holidays are about spending as much time with family and friends. So, develop a plan to reduce the use of technology this holiday season.

Try putting all your smart devices away and only check them once a day at the most. If you can’t do without your devices, you may be highlighting a real problem in your ability to reduce stress.

Also, make sure you allow time to keep up with a regular amount of sleep as well as chill time during the day. Without enough sleep or deep relaxation your stress levels can sky rocket. So, taking time to sleep well and relax deeply is a powerful way of rejuvenating mind and body.

For me, I use three powerful ways to rejuvenate and reduce stress, Firstly, I harness the power of taking time to read and write in my journal. This time of quiet reflection allowed me to create and use affirmations to inspire myself. Also, it is a chance to review life and think about your future.

My other favorite ways to deal with stress are progressive muscle relaxation and meditation. These are both very powerful and widely researched methods of stress reduction. If you want to try out meditation at home to reduce stress, check out www.makemeditationeasy.com

Finally, one of my favorite holiday stress reduction techniques is to watch comedy programs. Have a good laugh every day and you will feel the stress melting away.

 How to Deal With Stress- lonely

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #5 – Home Alone

One of the most common causes of stress for many in the holiday season can be caused by isolation.

I have spent several holiday seasons away from family and friends and it can be a very lonely time of year. So, the key is not to isolate yourself.

There are many places you can go where you can hear music and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Therefore, don’t feel you have to stay on your own. Get out of the house and find somewhere with holiday activity and join in the fun.

However, if you do find yourself isolated and you feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor or health professional. You do not have to suffer in isolation. Ask for Help.

how to deal with stress -understanding

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #6 – Zero Arguments?

The holiday season is often a time of meeting with family, friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, we may need to socialize with people we don’t get along with.

Holiday gatherings can often be a source of relationship friction which can lead to arguments. This lack of harmony can add to the stress experienced during the holidays.

Here are some tips of how to deal with relationship stress. If you find yourself disagreeing with someone, simply count to ten rather than allowing an argument to take over.

Also, try to accept family members and friends as they are. The key, is to accept that people may not live up to all your expectations, and that’s alright.

If you have ongoing grievances with family members, try setting them aside to a more appropriate time for discussion.

The holiday season can be a great time to develop your power of forgiveness. So, if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry, chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress. Used your power of understanding and forgiveness to become a peace maker.

 how to deal with stress- relax

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #7 – Busy Bee

One way to reduce stress this holiday season is to decide to stop being a busy bee. One great way to do this is to plan a small vacation.

Taking at least four or five days off work dramatically lowers your stress level. Also, it can put distance between you and the endless holiday parties.

If you have kids, you may want to opt for a stay-cation during the holidays. You can still reduce stress by taking turns with your partner doing kid-duty. Or, you can send them off to their own vacation at grandma’s.

how to deal with stress- burnout

How to Deal with Stress- Tip #8 – Beware of Burnout

One of the biggest sources of stress over the holidays is that we fall into the trap of saying ‘yes’ to everything. For your health’s sake, learn to say no.

Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. So, learn to be assertive and say no to activities that won’t fit into your schedule without adding stress that you don’t want.

If you have to add an activity into your holiday plan, try to remove something from your agenda to keep your life balanced and free of stress.

So, apply these powerful tips to deal with stress this holiday season and give yourself the joy of peace and calm.

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