The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests – stress and anxiety, which can ruin your holidays and hurt your health if you’re not careful. But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies this time of year, and you may end up enjoying the inevitable array of parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining more than you thought you would.
Tips to Prevent Holiday Stress & Anxiety
When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Instead of waiting for it to get to that point, try to prevent it in the first place by trying some of these tips:
1. Acknowledge your feelings.
It’s to be expected that the holidays bring up emotions, both good and bad. If you are unable to be around loved ones this holiday or have other recent emotional triggers, acknowledge that this time of year is hard, and be OK taking time to be sad. You can’t force yourself to put on a smile at all times just because it is the holiday season.
2. Reach out.
If you’re feeling lonely this season, seek out community or social events to participate in. They can offer support and a sense of companionship. Volunteering is also a great way to connect with people and is much-needed this time of year.
3. Be realistic.
Not everything has to be perfect or be just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, but be open to creating new ones.
4. Set aside differences.
Try to accept others just as they are rather than getting frustrated over things you cannot change. It will reduce your stress level to focus on what you can improve in yourself, and not in others. Don’t try to control what is out of your control.
5. Stick to a budget.
Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Finances are one of the biggest contributors to stress during the holidays, and one of the easiest ways to prevent stress is to not overspend.
6. Plan ahead.
Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends, and other activities that can make you feel overwhelmed. It’s also helpful to plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That way you’ll prevent last-minute scrambling for forgotten ingredients and overspending on unnecessary items.
7. Learn to say no.
Saying yes when you don’t have time can leave you feeling incredibly stressed and often resentful. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
8. Don’t abandon healthy habits.
Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese, or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity, and keep up on your wellness program & doctors appointments.
9. Take a breather.
Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone without distractions can often refresh your mind enough to handle the stress ahead. Find something that reduces your stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing, and restoring your inner calm. This could be as simple as listening to relaxing music, taking a walk, or reading a good book.
10. Seek professional help if you need it.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes we find ourselves in need of some help. If you find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, unable to sleep or irritable, consider asking for help. You can talk to Dr. Beebe about natural supplements which might help, or seek out a stress & mental health specialist for thoughts on how to cope with building stress & anxiety.
Take Back Your Holidays
Use these tips to take control of the holidays. Don’t let this time of year become something that you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and anxiety that can descend during holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers so that you can combat them before they lead to health problems. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays no matter what the circumstance.
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South Shore Artistic Salon
A unique Salon for unmatched style, creativity and sophistication, South Shore Artistic Salon provides a relaxing, friendly environment for the entire family. The Stylists are very passionate about hair and hair care, and make sure how you look & feel is their number one priority. Their talented Artists custom-mix each and every color formula for their guests and every haircut is personally detailed to fit your facial features, bone structure and unique personal style. Located on South Shore Blvd. in Lake Oswego, this is where the Beebe Chiropractic Team goes for all of their hair care needs. Call and ask for Liza at 503-730-5889 or check out their website athttp://www.southshoreartisticsalon.com.
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