Easy Ways To Reduce Stress During The Holidays
1. Let Things Go
For every action, or event on your ‘to do’ list, ask yourself why you are doing it. If the answer is anything other than it is fun, or meaningful to you, then ask yourself if the perceived payoff is worth the price you have to pay. The larger the feeling that it is something you ‘should’ do, the more likely the activity or event will increase stress during the next two months.
2. Tend To Your Relationships
The happiest people are those who put effort and attention into their relationships ahead of other areas of their lives. During the Holidays, it is tempting to equate gifts with love, parties with connection, and the perfect meal with the perfect holiday. Instead, try to shift the focus to bonding activities: a favorite game, a walk outside, watching a movie, sharing a warm blanket, talking face-to-face. Hugging, talking, holding hands, and eye-gazing all increase oxytocin, which increases bonding, reduces irritation, and supports the decrease of stress.
3. Shop Online
These days it is easy to shop online, and avoid the visual cues to buy that stores set up. Online shopping allows you to buy just what you intend to buy, and cuts down on time spent in jostling crowds.
Simply put, online shopping allows you to save time, and stick to a budget, so the bills that come in in January are less stressful.
4. Create A Sanctuary
Take steps to set up an area of your home (it can be very small) that feels calming to you. If you start to feel overwhelmed by the demands of the season, then a few minutes in your sanctuary can help restore your flagging spirits and depleted energy levels.
5. Exercise And Meditate
30 minutes of exercise, followed by 10 minutes of meditation can go a long way to keeping body and spirit in harmony over the Holidays. Exercise is the single biggest factor in keeping moods even and happiness levels high. Similarly, meditation is a huge factor in improving the experience of stress or anxiety.
In just 40 minutes, the combination of physical and mental relaxation has a noticeable effect on stress levels.
6. Have Fun
Remember to set some time aside for FUN! At least once a week, choose an activity for no other reason than that it is enjoyable. Laughter, and enjoyment create all kinds of good feelings that can offset the demands of the Holidays.