How to Have a Stress Free Holiday Season
By Georgianna Donadio, MSc, DC, PhD – The holidays are a special time to pause, give thanks for the richness and blessings of our lives, and enjoy time with friends and family. Shopping, party planning, gift wrapping, visiting friends and family can also be hectic, stressful and expensive.
One of the ways to ensure a more stress free holiday is to decide what you would like from this year’s experience. There are a number of ways to approach the festivities that will carry you into the New Year renewed, refreshed and fulfilled rather than stressed-out, exhausted and in debt.
Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or anticipating a particular outcome from others is a common pitfall. Another common problem is feeling the need to create a perfect celebration, buying the perfect gifts and being sure that you don’t forget anyone on the gift list.
We can avoid many of these stressors by identifying the most important outcomes we want and also what outcomes we wish to avoid. Before committing to attend celebrations that could potentially create time stress, or require presents that would create money stress, choose to limit the number of activities and set a very specific budget for gift giving. This alone can really shift your holiday experience from stressful to joyful.
One great way to experience more cheer for yourself and bring joy to others is by being creative with your gift giving. You can personalize the holidays and avoid spending far more than you might intend by baking, cooking, knitting, crafting, and scrapbooking for friends and family. These are all creative, meaningful and personal ways to let others know how special they are to you. Nothing says love like handmade gifts.
It is also important to keep up with your whole health self-care routine which may include exercise, relaxation, vitamins or whatever activity you do to take care of yourself. This is a great way to keep your body producting anti-stress hormones. These wonderful hormones can assist you to feel healthy, happy and filled with cheer, even during the busiest time of the holiday season!
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