Holidays. Who doesn’t experience the added stress with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Busy with activities, shopping, and overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time to get it done. It is overwhelming. The holiday season, although a time for joy and cheer, can quickly turn into a time of stress, exhaustion, and overload. This can often lead us to be short tempered, moody, irritable, and impatient. So how do we keep in check and allow ourselves to experience this so- called joy and cheer?
5 Simple Tips to Manage Stress this Holiday Season
Focus on what is within your control
Too often we focus on the things that we have no control over. These thoughts turn in our minds, keep us from sleeping well, cause us to jump to conclusions and make faulty assumptions come to life. Know what you can and cannot control in the situations you find yourself in. Work on compartmentalizing those anxieties – put them in little boxes that you will open, only, if need be, and in the right time. Write these concerns down and put them in your nightstand drawer. Do not ignore your worries, but rather acknowledge them and decipher what you do and do not have control over in this moment.
Take care of yourself
It is easy during the holidays to eat junk food, exercise less, and stay up later. These are the very things that have a huge impact on our mental health that often go neglected during this season. Try to keep active. Set aside time to wind down and relax. Engage in some type of meditation or mindful activities and try to incorporate some healthier foods into your repertoire.
Plan your week but be flexible
Having a plan is great. But, it is often our inability to be flexible in our plan that causes our anxiety and irritability to spike. Having a plan in place can be a great way to manage your time and to keep your anxiety at bay. Things do not always go as planned. Being able to roll with the punches, acknowledge that plans change, and accept it, will often keep you from being as overwhelmed. If you find yourself in this particular situation, see tip #1.
Find what is important to you
During this season, focus more on what you want for yourself and those that are important in your life. To be our best selves, we often need to put things in perspective. This will be different for many of us as we are unique and different in our thoughts, beliefs, and personalities. In what ways do you want to impact others and what kind of person would you like to portray this holiday season?
Take the time for mindfulness
Being mindful is not a simple task. How often do you take the time to intentionally discern on a decision? It is not uncommon to respond to situations or requests with impulse and later regret what you may or may not have agreed to. Take the time to think about what is is you want in any given situation. Consider how you are feeling and play the scenario through to determine how it will impact you or you. A rule of thumb to live by it to respond with “maybe” or “let me think on it and I’ll get back to you.” This gives you the time needed to mindfully discern decisions.
This is a stressful time of year. It is important to place emphasis on your well-being and be able to share in joyfulness with others. Take care of your mental health. Focus on what is within your control, take time for yourself, identify what is important to you, learn to be flexible, and practice mindfulness skills. May your holiday be bright as your spirits are light.