It's the most wonderful time of year, well for most of us. If you are like, me, you are faced with piles of unwrapped gifts and stacks of unaddressed cards; it is so easy to get overwhelmed during the Christmas season. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands - baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes I'm not sure what do to next on my long list. Sound familiar? An escape to a sunny location is sounding like a priority!
Make sure you take some time to relax and rejuvenate to truly enjoy this holiday season. Here are a few ideas to have a stress-less or stress-free Christmas.
1. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
2. Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, heavy hors d’oeuvres, or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
3. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
4. Be realistic. Try to remove something from your list of holiday “must-dos”. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, try to imagine your front step or your mantel not decked out with holiday décor – will your Christmas still be the same? Find something to cross-off that you can live with.
5. Try to do one thing at a time. Everyone at this time of year is so busy multi-tasking it is so hard to focus on one task at a time. Try to focus your time at one thing at a time. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends, and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list.
Don’t let the holidays become something that completely stresses you out. Remember to take time and relax – find some time for yourself. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.