Avoiding the stress of the holiday season.

The holiday season can be extremely stressful. It is a time often filled to the brim with parties, shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining, traffic, travel, family, and so much more. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. To avoid stress this holiday season there are a few great ways to take action.

Don’t focus on conflict. Focus on understanding and accepting those around you.Christmas stress - busy woman wearing santa hat stressing for christmas shopping holding may christmas gifts in her arms.

Budget, budget, budget. The holiday season can put a huge strain on a person’s finances. Between gift-giving and holiday treats, the costs can really add up. Instead, find creative ways to show people how much you care, such as homemade gifts or charitable donations.

Give yourself some space. The holidays often focus on togetherness, but it is important to take some time for yourself if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Keep yourself calm and well cared for by remembering to relax with something that you find soothing.

Cut back on cooking. Reduce the stress of entertaining friends and family by organizing a potluck so no one person is left with the task of preparing a feast alone.

Acknowledge your feelings. If you have experienced a recent loss, or if you are feeling alone, recognize it is ok to feel and express sadness.

Get some sunlight. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects millions of American. Getting extra sunlight helps your body produce serotonin to alleviate some seasonal feelings of sadness or anxiety.

Don’t be afraid to say no. The holidays are so jam-packed with obligations, activities, and parties it can just become too much. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, don’t be afraid to whittle it down. Decide which things are most important to you, and use the extra time for some much needed self-care.

Be realistic. The holidays aren’t perfect for anyone, no matter how it may seem. Don’t obsess over every little detail. Instead, focus on enjoying the big picture and soaking up all the love that the holidays have to offer.

 

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Health.com