If you’re prone to holiday stress, you’re not the only one. According to a survey conducted by Healthline a few years ago, over 60% of people feel some type of stress during the holiday season. And between finding the right gifts, traveling, attempting to maintain a healthy diet, and dealing with family issues, those feelings of overwhelm are completely valid. But you don’t have to them rule your life. Instead, use these 7 tips to conquer your stress this holiday season.
Do More Online Shopping
The act of pulling into a mall parking garage during the weeks leading up holidays alone is enough to make some of us break out in hives. It’s pure chaos. Avoid crowded, stress-inducing shopping centers by doing the bulk of your shopping online this year. It’s fast, easy, and most importantly, you do do it all from the comfort of your own home. Put on your coziest PJs and slippers, make a cup of hot cocoa, and settle in for a day of shopping.
Schedule in Some Self-Care
Self-care can mean different things for different people. It all depends on what you like to do to relax, unwind, and feel centered. For some, it’s reading or yoga. For others, it might be putting on a face mask, taking a bubble bath, or watching Netflix. Whatever you like to do, make sure you schedule in some time for it despite your busy holiday schedule. Doing so will allow you time to recharge and help ensure that you avoid burnout.
Prioritize Your Daily Tasks
Thinking about everything that you need to do to prep for the holidays can get overwhelming, fast. To avoid feeling bogged down by your to-do list, separate everything you have to do into daily tasks, and prioritize them in order of importance. Then, if you don’t get to all of it by the end of the day, you’ll at least have the essentials taken care of.
Keep Your Expectations Reasonable
After watching a few holiday movies, it’s easy to get swept up in the idea that this season is an idealistic time filled with quality time with friends and family and lots of joy. And while this can be true, it’s important to stay realistic. The American Psychological Association recommends managing your expectations during the holidays by keeping things in perspective and being proactive about potential conflicts that may arise among friends or family members.
Track Your Spending
While this may sound stressful, the alternative of not tracking your spending will likely result in a lot more stress in the long run. Vice recommends thinking of it as a “food journal for your wallet.” Every time you make a purchase, add it to your spending log to ensure that you’re staying within your means. And if you’re not a good list keeper, there are plenty of apps like Mint that will help you keep everything in one place.
Ask for Support
Reaching out for help is a simple, yet often overlooked way to deal with stress. Whether it’s talking to a trusted friend or family member or seeking out for professional help from a therapist, it’s important to express how you’re feeling. Getting a fresh perspective from someone else often helps to put you at ease.
Practice Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing is a quick and easy way to reduce tension, but we often forget about it. If you’re looking for something simple, try inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose, holding it for 3 seconds, then exhaling slowly through your mouth. Repeat until you feel more relaxed. Another option is the 4-7-8 breathing technique which is described as “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system,” and has been known to help users fall asleep with ease. If neither of those cut it, you can also try alternate nostril breathing, an ancient yoga breathing technique.
Written By: Kara Cuzzone