Hello December! The holiday season is officially upon us. While excitement builds, this time of year can also lead to increased stress and anxiety. Trying to balance your everyday life on top of preparing for the holidays can be challenging. However, there are things you can do to prevent holiday stress and help ensure you get the most from the season.
Let the sun in
During the winter months, it can often become difficult to stay energized. With cold temperatures, time spent outdoors becomes less and less, which can have an impact on our overall mental health. By spending time (even a short amount) in the sunshine, or investing in a happy light, which helps treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you will likely see an increase in your overall mood.
With the pressure on to make the season merry and bright, our moods may become sad and dim. Don’t be afraid to take some of the pressure off your shoulders and say no to certain functions, events, and other social obligations. Be sure to take time for yourself and make sure you keep your batteries charged as well.
Ditch the tech
While being connected is a wonderful thing, especially during the holidays, it is important to take time to disconnect from our devices. The never-ending buzz of cell phones and binging of email alerts hinders our ability to relax. Constant connection can increase stress levels and can impact time spent with loved ones. So, put the phone in another room during celebrations, allow yourself to decompress and truly take in the holiday season.
Even though the weather doesn’t always cooperate, make sure to take some time to get your body moving. Turn on your favourite Christmas song and dance around the kitchen, take a brisk walk in a local mall, or bundle up and trek through the snow. The colder months are also a great time to take advantage of indoor play centers, skating rinks, and swimming pools.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in busy schedules, party planning and festive gatherings. However, the holiday season can be a challenging time for many people. Consider purchasing gifts for the less fortunate, such as seniors who have little or no family. Volunteer at the local food bank or donate to a charity that is close to your heart. Something as simple as smiling at others in the shopping mall or buying a coffee for the person behind you can do wonders for boosting your mood and reducing stress. Plus, if you have young children, this is an excellent tradition to implement as a family.
Pass on perfection
Stop obsessing over every tiny detail. Remember that your loved ones aren’t concerned with how clean your baseboards are (at least they shouldn’t be!). Instead of focusing on creating picture perfect moments, focus your energy on the people around you. Sometimes the messy and chaotic make for the most memorable (and entertaining) memories.
Holiday stress is very real! However, by following the above suggestions, it doesn’t have to be. Remember to focus on what the holiday season means to you and, to quote Elsa, “Let it go!”