Feeling pulled in a million directions this holiday season? Your children need you at school concerts, work has extra holiday hours and commitments and your friend needs help planning a big holiday party? The extra money, time and energy during the holiday season is very stressful. Keep in mind that you won’t be of use to anyone if you over extend yourself. Practice these holiday stress reducers so you don’t just survive the season, but enjoy thi
1. Take a break each day for yourself. Plan it in your calendar as you would a meeting or appointment. Schedule “you” time for at least 15-30 minutes each day doing something that you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a good book, going for a manicure or journal writing, take the time to relax and rejuvenate.
2. Just say “No”. It’s OK not to do everything. Graciously thank people for their invitations but let them no you are unable to attend. No excuses necessary.
3. Question your traditions. Traditions are wonderful, but ask yourself if everyone is still enjoying them or whether the time and effort is worth it to you and your family. Ask family members which traditions they really enjoy. Then think about altering those traditions to better suit today’s busy lifestyle.
4. Don’t buy into bigger is better. Whether shopping for a gift, creating a warm evening for friends or cooking or baking, think of ways to simplify. Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.
5. Maintain your regular exercise routine. Don’t schedule your workouts around your other activities, schedule your other activities around your workout routines. Try to go to the gym, swim or exercise at home at the same time each day. If you need to go to the store, park far away from the front entrance and get some exercise while you are at it. What about bundling up and having some fun with the kids outside? Give yourself and loved ones the best gift of all this holiday and take care of your health first.
6. Get to bed at your usual time or earlier. It can be tough to squeeze everything in that needs to get done for the holidays after work and throughout the day. Sometimes people make up for this by staying up later hours. With festive activities like parties and concerts keeping you up at all hours, it’s time to head to bed early on those nights you are at home. If you find yourself just flipping through the TV channels and considering your rerun options, make going to bed early a priority and a better use your precious time.
7. Eat properly. Don’t use the holidays and stress as a reason to over eat. Although the holidays bring with them sweet treats and extra appetizers, try not to make food the prime focus. And remember, just because someone offers you something, you do not have to accept. It is not considered rude to politely pass on a food or beverages. If you have ordered something out on the fly and the portion is large consider packing half of it to go and you will save both calories and on time preparing another meal. Remember there is no rule saying you must eat everything on your plate or everything that is handed to you. Pick and choose the healthiest foods and indulge on those. Be selective with richer foods and treats and eat smaller portions.
8. Watch your alcohol consumption. Although some people believe alcohol decreases your stress, it is only a temporary solution. Try to stay away from consuming too many cocktails as this will interfere with your digestion, calorie intake, sleep and overall energy and well-being. When you are careful with what you drink, you will eliminate consuming too much at holiday parties which can create stress issues bigger than post holiday pounds.
9. Cut down your gift giving list. If you have way too many people to buy gifts for this year, try having a family, friend or work gift draw. Often people are very excited about this idea, and are just waiting for someone to suggest it. This will help to relieve you of what to get, time to get it and money to budget. It’
With all the additional stress that can be added this holiday season it’s important to practice some de-stressing activities to make your holidays the festive and joyful time you really want it to be.
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© 2007 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Fax: (902) 455-0553
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.