Does hosting that holiday dinner send you into a frenzy? Does buying Christmas gifts leave you overwhelmed and drained? The crowds, family, pressure to entertain, traffic, events, and spending of money can easily get to the best of us.
You are not alone.
Mental stress has physical repercussions and is the cause of countless doctor visits. It releases a hormone that speeds up your heart and causes high blood pressure, increased susceptibility to illness, headaches and even sleeping issues. It can also heighten depression and anxiety in some.
In summary, too much stress is physically unhealthy for you. So how can you ensure your Christmas is merry and your holidays are low stress?
Try these four mental exercises to ease your holiday woes:
- Voice your Christmas wishes. Bottling up your concerns will keep negative feelings inside. Discuss stressful situations, like hosting a big meal or feeling financially strained, and how to handle them with a loved one. It will put the stress in perspective and give you outsider insight.
- Have yourself whatever kind of Christmas you’d like. The holidays are often a time of ritual and family, which can be hard for those who have experienced change or loss. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and avoid perfectionistic expectations for how the season should go.
- Make your list and check it twice. Organizing your tasks and tackling them one at a time will help you feel accomplished. Simplify your responsibilities by writing five holiday cards a night instead of all at once or shop online and let the company handle the wrapping. If your list feels unwieldy, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Give yourself a silent night or two. Even ten minutes of relaxation and quiet can ease stress. Take a bubble bath or play fetch with the dog. Remember, the holidays are supposed to be a joyful time so do what you need to ensure your own personal happiness!
Managing stress is part of living a healthy, amazing life. Don’t wait for New Years to make positive resolutions. Even physical changes can reduce stress, such as choosing vegetable side dishes instead of heavier sides, or taking a wintry walk before sitting by the fire. With a little self-awareness of your needs, this holiday season can be a merry, stress-free time for all.
Keep on loving. Keep on celebrating. Keep On Amazing.