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Give yourself a gift for the holidays - reduced stress!

Posted by Sara Levitsky on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Under: Stress

 
Thanksgiving is the kick off for the holiday season.  It might also be the kickoff for your holiday stress.  The chaos and hype of Black Friday shopping, the holiday music on the radio and the commercials on TV are all reminders of what we need to accomplish in the next month.  There's shopping to do, cards to send, meals to prepare, cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, family to visit or host, travel plans… and on and on.  How do you handle holiday stress? 

 Here are some basic tips:
  
  • Plan ahead - look at your calendar and figure out what your commitments are - to decrease surprises.
  • Let go of some stuff - when you look at that calendar all filled in, ask yourself what you can cross off to free up your time.
  • Learn to say no.  Don't let the "holiday spirit" spread you too thin.
  • Make time for yourself - even 15 minutes of quiet time alone each day can be energizing.
  • Ask for help - family or friends can help with babysitting, ask your partner to help with shopping, ask your kids to help with the baking.  And then LET THEM DO IT.
  • Forgive someone - letting go of anger means letting go of negativity.

If your stress around the holidays is more severe or feels more like depression, and is affecting your mental health and daily functioning, you may need to do some conscious self-care:
  • Volunteer your time or donate to a charity - giving to those with less resources is a great way to improve mood.
  • Make time to be with friends/family who enrich your life.  Don't isolate yourself.
  • Get sunlight when you can - part of the holiday blues comes from less exposure to light.
  • Exercise - if you don't have a form of exercise that you like try walking.  Most days.  Indoors or out.
  • Write in a gratitude journal daily - even just one or two things you are thankful for or appreciate.
  • Seek professional help if you need to.

Don't put pressure on yourself with your own expectations of what the holidays SHOULD be.  Try to be in the moment and enjoy the people in your life.

photo credit-Master isoloated images-freedigitalphotos.net

In : Stress 


Tags: "holiday stress" "depression" "self care" 
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