The holidays can be a great time to appreciate what you’ve accomplished and experienced in the past year. It can be the perfect time to celebrate family and friends and show your love for those who you’re closest too. The holidays are a time for good food, good company, and reflection. Unfortunately, they can also be a time of increased stress.
Why are the holidays so stressful? Maybe it’s because it’s the end of another year and marking the passing of time can be overwhelming for some. There’s also a lot of pressure we put on ourselves to be our best selves at this time of the year.
That could be for family gatherings, with some family members that you don’t get along with all that well. That could be for romantic couples, putting the unneeded pressure on themselves to find perfect Christmas gifts for each other. Or it could be putting pressure on yourself to come up with the perfect New Year’s resolutions and follow through with them. Sometimes the stress simply comes from an increase in crowds and holiday travel.
Because most people have similar mindsets and/or problems when it comes to the holidays, it creates a frenzied and rushed energy. Everyone feels like they don’t have enough time, and we often forget to take a moment to just relax and think about where our stress is really coming from.
We wanted to put together a list of our favorite recommendations from top bloggers to de-stress this holiday season. One less person that’s stressed this December means less negative energy being put forth during the holidays, and that’s always a good thing!
On her blog, physical therapist Michelle Alva, recommends prioritizing what you truly desire as a way to combat holiday stress. Start making lists and follow through with them, so that you have an active plan in place to tackle whatever it is that’s making you feel overwhelmed. Think long and hard about what you actually need to get done each day (i.e. look up holiday dinner ideas, go Christmas shopping, send invites to your New Year’s Eve party, etc). Pick one big task for the day and break it into smaller tasks that make it more manageable to achieve.
And remember your loved ones should be one of your top priorities during the holidays. It’s scientifically proven that spending time with people you love is a great way to reduce stress and feel balanced.
On the blog Indie Made, writer Melissa William Netherton recommends getting exercise and eating healthy to deal with stress levels. By treating your body right, your mind will follow and thank you for the extra care. The holidays is also the time for sugary, carb-heavy, and fattening meals, so this is a great time to pay attention to what you’re putting in your body.
If you don’t have a ton of extra time, even doing a few exercises at home can do wonders for making you feel less overwhelmed in life. Take 15 minutes to do minor exercise and plan out a few healthy meals for the day.
As David and Christina point out in their blog, Tico and Tina, stress often has a way of making us forget about the good things in our life and what we’re thankful for. Keeping a daily gratitude journal is the perfect way to remember what we’re happy about in our life. It usually has a way of making what is stressing us out most seem not all that important too.
Keeping your gratitude can be a successful way to reduce stress in your life. It also makes it easier to have a positive mindset and to tackle any holiday issues with grace and efficiency. Remember to smile when you walk out your door. By putting forth a positive appearance, you’ll encourage others to be friendly and positive as well. The right kind of mindset can go a long way.
The Lifehack blog talks about how important “me time” is during the holiday season. We tend to need time to ourselves more than usual around this part of the year. When life gets busy and stressful, it’s necessary to have time carved out just for you. Take a moment to think about what would make you happiest in this moment. Maybe it’s sitting on the couch watching Netflix, or cooking in the kitchen, or singing at the top of your lungs in a nice hot shower. Whatever it is, go do it and appreciate the time you take for yourself.
Also, even though it may not be something you immediately think of as something you’d want to do, try to meditate. Meditation is a great “me time” activity that really isn't about you at all, but it can be incredibly beneficial for your brain. Taking 10 minutes to start your day meditating can easily change how the rest of your day will go. Get out of your individual and minor stressors and let your mind go. You’ll come back to your awareness with a broader mindset and a can-do attitude that’ll make Santa’s to-do list look like a walk in the park.
We hope these recommendations will help to reduce your stress this holiday season. Christmas is just around the corner, but that’s something to celebrate, not dread. Happy holidays everyone!
How do you like to de-stress around this time of the year? Let’s us know in the comments below, we’d love to know!