The holiday season can be wonderful, but they can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Fortunately, the experts at Psychology Today also offer these simple stress relievers to put the joy back in this special time of year:
1. Take a time-out. Time-outs aren’t just for toddlers who have a tantrum. In fact, rather than being a punishment time-outs (a.k.a. quick relaxation breaks) can be a positive addition to calming adults with frenetic schedules. So, when you feel overwhelmed during the day, do one to five minutes of a relaxing activity to restore your sense of calm.
2. Opt for optimism. If you find yourself getting annoyed with friends or family over the holidays, try to shift your negative thoughts to positive ones. This can help you view the situation at hand with gratitude instead.
3. Fit in fitness. Even if you are tight on time, squeeze some exercise into your schedule. You will feel better and calmer if you get your body moving. Even just a 20 minute walk once a day will help you keep stress at bay.
4. Eat smart. Okay, easier said than done this time of year, but if you make a concerted effort to control your portions and balance your diet, you will avoid sugar crashes and the other negative effects of overdoing it on holiday treats. This will not only help to stabilize your mood, but it will keep your energy up, too.
5. Make a ‘to-do’ list—then cut it. Writing down all that you have to do during the holidays can be overwhelming, but it can also help you realize how do-able your tasks are. Be realistic as to what you put on your lists. Then lighten your load by cutting items that are not absolutely necessary.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by economic and social pressures to live up to unrealistic expectations for what you are supposed to do, give and feel during the holidays. Use the tips above to help you beat seasonal stress and truly enjoy this special time of year.