Dealing With Stress at the Holidays
As much as we all typically love the holidays, they can be extremely stressful. How can you enjoy them more and stress less?
Running around town looking for the perfect presents, shopping for those big meals, keeping the cat out of the tree, moving the elf from place to place -- there is so much to keep up with during this time of year. It's easy to burn yourself out and forget the reason you're doing all of it.
When you have a million things to do, eating on the run can seem the thing to do, but it isn't necessarily the healthiest way to go. If you know you're going to be running around, consider packing some healthy snacks to bring along with you. Nuts like almonds and walnuts, fruit like apples and oranges, cheeses like mozzarella and Swiss are all excellent choices for something to keep your energy up without resorting to something less healthy.
If your errands make getting a healthy dinner on the table difficult at best, dust off that slow cooker. With all the options for easy to prepare meals that you can prep in advance, you can come home to a hot meal that's ready to serve when you are.
Our bodies consist of around 60% water, and keeping up our water intake is key to staying healthy regardless of the time of year. When you're on the go like you are during the holidays, have a water bottle with you to sip from as you take care of your errands.
Though water is the best choice to keep hydrated, tea and coffee are also fine choices. Try to drink soft drinks and juices in moderation as they can add an awful lot of sugar to your daily intake. What does this have to do with stress? Staying hydrated can help with feelings of anxiety which can also help with stress.
In addition to eating well and hydrating, watching how much alcohol we drink can help our health and, consequently, our stress levels. Alternate drinking water or soft drinks with your cocktail of choice. If you do drink more than you intended, make sure to either call an Uber or Lyft or have a designated driver in your group.
You may be busy, but keeping up with your exercise can help you stay healthy as well as dispel stress. If you don't have time for a formal workout, a snowball fight with the kids, dancing to those holiday classics, or even a vigorous cleaning session are all great substitutes.
Sleep is necessary to allow your body to recuperate from the activities of the day. Getting a good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself. A full night consists of 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Start preparing for sleep by limiting your phone screen usage or turning on the blue light filter an hour before bed. This will help you to fall asleep more easily.
Set a Budget
Overspending at the holidays can cause a lot of stress. To help alleviate the stress of spending on presents, entertaining, and travel, make sure to set a budget and stick to it. Staying within your budget can really take a load off your mind.
Take Time For You
Taking time for yourself is necessary to keep your stress levels in check. This can look like anything that you enjoy. Meditation, adult coloring books, yoga, dance class, reading, playing video games, painting, or anything else that you find fun can lower your stress levels. In order to find the time, you might need to learn to say no. Try not to overschedule yourself to keep your time free.
Enjoy the holidays more by managing your stress levels this year.