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12 Days of Stress Management

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December 24, 2018 | Published by


The holiday season is here, and if you find yourself getting a little too stressed, worry not. We have you covered. Here are our 12 ways to reduce holiday stress and avoid becoming a humbug.

Indulge in Moderation

With all the large meals, candy, and other dietary temptations that loom around the holidays, it’s easy to find yourself just giving up healthy eating habits until the new year. Instead of just thinking about the unhealthy things we consume, try balancing those out with healthy snacks. Blueberries, pears, and bananas are great ways to replenish gut microbiota, which, in turn, can relieve stress. Other great foods to have around are brightly colored vegetables, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

Don’t Abandon Your Healthy Routine

Healthy eating, proper exercise, and adequate sleep are things that often fall by the wayside once the festivities begin. It can be difficult to get back in the groove of things if you’ve stayed away for too long, so try to keep your routine going through the holidays, even if it’s somewhat reduced. Try to maintain balance by going for a walk around the neighborhood if you know you’re going to eat a large meal, for example. If it’s going to be a late night, be sure to get plenty of rest in the days prior. You can make things easier on yourself during the season by setting up reminders to keep you on track. Buying a planner or downloading an app to help with time management might be just what you need this year to help keep stress to a minimum!

Travel Smart

There’s no denying that travel can be one of the more annoying parts of the holidays. Packing early can be a real time saver that may come in handy later when you need extra time to get to the airport. Try to get there about two hours before your flight to ensure you have plenty of time to get through security and to the gate.

Take Time for Yourself

Whether you need to bounce around between get-togethers, plan and prepare meals for a group of people, or get some last-minute shopping done, it’s important to sometimes take a time out and just relax. Since this seems nearly impossible to do while in the middle of all the holiday chaos, try scheduling some breaks for yourself ahead of time, and do your best to stick to them.

Get Your Sleep

Getting the proper 7-9 hours sleep is essential, especially during times of stress. Since your ability to cope with stress is greatly reduced when you lack sleep, you may feel like you have more than you can handle when the holidays roll around. Slowing down and catching some Zs is essential to handling the season (and life in general).

Don’t Spread Yourself Thin

While it’s important to make time to spend with friends and family, it’s easy to over-commit, making you feel like you have more obligations than you do time. Sometimes it’s best to be open with loved ones and reschedule for another time. You just might find yourself enjoying your time together more without the pressure that comes with the holidays.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead of time with a loose schedule can be a huge stress saver. It can be overwhelming when you feel like you have a million things to do, but no structure. This can work for shopping, visiting family, travel, and just about everything else surrounding the holidays!

Stick to Your Budget

Money related stress is the last thing anyone needs around the holidays. It’s important to set a realistic budget ahead of time and do your best to stick with it. It also never hurts to leave yourself with a little wiggle room in case any unexpected surprises show up. Buying a few small gift cards to have on hand can be helpful to cover those forgotten or surprise gifts.

Reach out to Friends and Family

For some of us the holidays can mean isolation and loneliness. If you are separated by distance, getting in touch with loved ones is only a phone call, email, text. or even a letter away. The holidays are also a wonderful to patch up fractured relationships. Unresolved issues with loved ones can often be the root of stressors working in the background of your life.

Get (or Stay) Active

Getting in shape doesn’t have to just be a New Year’s resolution. Stay in the habit of exercising during the holidays, even if it’s reduced. If you weren’t already in the routine of working out, why not try starting during the holidays? It’s scientifically proven to help you cope with stress, and make you feel better physically. Plus, if you make it through this hectic time of year with a regular routine, the rest of the year will be easy street!

Prepare Together

When there’s just too much on the agenda to tackle alone, don’t feel afraid to ask for help. There’s almost always someone around that can help around the house, kitchen, or just do a simple favor for you every now and then. Asking for help and helping others is a truly wonderful way of sharing the holiday spirit.

Ditch the Device

As convenient as it is to have almost every sort of tool, distraction, and social connection in your pocket, you may realize you don’t ever truly feel stress-free and relaxed until you’ve spent some time away from your devices. It’s easy for many of us to think we can’t live without being connected constantly, but a simpler life may be just what you need. Try leaving the screen behind and enjoying some of the finer, more natural things available. You’d be amazed what you might be missing!


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