Minimize stress and Maximize joy this holiday season By Roslyn Franken
The holiday season buzz is in full swing. Office parties are finalising, decorations are up, and the flurry of holiday advertising on radio, television, newspapers and in flyers, malls and shops are flooding us all over the world. It is a magical time of year with all its festive tradition, however, with all the hustle and bustle it is also a season when many people find themselves overwhelmed, overstressed and overtired.
On top of your regular daily responsibilities, you must now start thinking about gift buying, planning family gatherings, deciding on holiday dinner menus and getting your holiday baking done. This all takes time and energy, which for most of us are two very precious commodities nowadays.
If not managed properly, you could create the type of stress and anxiety that could easily lead to comfort eating and associated weight gain and depressive mindset.
With all the extra socializing, holiday treats and alcohol readily available, it can be even more difficult to eat properly especially if you’re overstressed and overtired. Let’s look at some key ways to minimize your stress levels for a healthy holiday season.
1. GET ORGANIZED – Avoid leaving everything to the last minute. By steadily procrastinating what you want to get done you will likely find yourself scrambling once again trying to find that perfect gift for your loved one, running around trying to put together the perfect meal and being overly-frustrated when things don’t happen the way you want them to. Instead, get yourself organized starting today by writing out a list of all that needs to be done. Then prioritize the list starting with what is most important and immediate and set yourself a reasonable schedule so that you do a little bit every week instead of letting it all pile up. Set small daily and weekly goals of what you want to get done and be happy with what you accomplish.
2. REACH OUT FOR HELP – There is often this sense of martyrdom amongst women especially who run themselves ragged with all the holiday responsibilities. I hear it all the time, “Did you get your Christmas baking done?” or “Did you get all your Christmas shopping done?” It’s a tradition it seems to ask these questions as a way to relate to one another. It’s as though we want to hear that the other person is as behind schedule as we are. The question is WHY do we feel that we have to do it all on our own? Why not create the To-Do list and schedule as a family and assign roles and responsibilities? Get the whole family involved.
3. LET GO OF YOUR NEED FOR PERFECTION – If you’re always seeking perfection then it may be difficult for you to rely on others. Learn to trust others to do their jobs and if they don’t do it exactly as you would, let it go. Learn to be flexible and adaptable and relieve yourself of the burden of trying to be so darn perfect all the time. If your health and well-being is going to suffer for it, then it just isn’t worth it.
The biggest gift you can give yourself this holiday season is the gift of kindness. Be kind to your body and yourself and follow these tips to minimize stress and maximize joy for your holiday season.