With the holidays in full swing, you’d think that everyone is all smiles. But, nah. Like you, there are peeps out there who literally have stress clouding their brains, keeping them from enjoying the break.
After all, holidays come with worries too – from pondering over the expenses of buying gifts to thinking about how clean the house needs to be, to cooking, and even to fretting over any remaining work from office. One study shows that 8 out of 10 people anticipate holiday stress.
So, what is it that you can do to get over this stress and let the holiday spirit shine through? Let’s help you out – here are our top 8 tips on how you can beat holiday stress:
1 – Don’t have big expectations
‘When the holidays roll by, I’m going to tackle all my remaining projects, give time to my hobbies as well as cook, shop, clean, and wrap gifts. There would still be plenty of time to sleep too!’ That’s the thought process of most people when the year-end’s holidays come.
This mentality is the first ingredient in the stress recipe because it just adds a lot to your plate. And when you’re unable to manage it all, you find yourself completely confused and obviously stressed. A better idea? Lower your expectations. You’re human, not superhuman.
2 – Don’t multitask
Think you can cook a meal, work on a project and surf through e-stores for gift shopping all at the time? Think again. While most people think of multitasking as a positive quality, science disagrees. Research shows that multitasking doesn’t make you faster.
Instead, you only finish ever single task you juggle together slower. So, a better idea is to take the tasks you’ve to do one by one. You can prioritize tasks based on importance as well as your mood so that the workload of it all doesn’t bother you.
3 – Make a to-do list
Making to-do lists can help you stay organized and lower your expectations from yourself. You should only put as many tasks on a day’s to-do list that you know can be handled. You can make daily to-do lists, or you make one single long to-do list for the entire holiday break.
The former idea works for folks who like routine but not for those who get overwhelmed by the items on the list. As for making a single long list, this way you’ll know what needs to be done so that toward the end of the holidays you don’t find yourself completely worried about what you have to do and what you don’t have to do.
4 – Keep gifts simple and affordable
You don’t have to make sure that everyone gets a gift and a handwritten letter. That’s too much work on you. Plus, while putting an effort into deciding what to buy for whom is a good idea, it’s not too favorable when you overdo the effort and stress yourself out.
So, keep it simple. Not to forget, considering you’ve to buy too many gifts, choose affordable. You can shop on Amazon – it will be less physically stressful than going out and about and buying gifts. Gifts don’t have to be super expensive to be an expression of love. Looking at how many people are majorly worried in the holidays due to high expenses; it would be best to not exhaust your savings.
5 – Start your day with mindfulness
Mindfulness is a state in which you are fully aware of your feelings and situation. It involves you accepting your emotions and whatever you are going through without judgement. As a part of it, you let go of negativity and concentrate on the present rather than the past or future.
Mindfulness is awareness and self-reflection that encourages a more focused approach and a more grateful outlook of life. You can try meditation to tap into mindfulness every morning. This will help you calm stress and anxiety as shown by studies. Hence, you will be able to spend your holidays with a better mood.
6 – Don’t drink too much
Binging on booze is something most people do during the Christmas to New Year’s Eve holidays. This though, often doesn’t end well. You see, no one likes getting a hangover which comes with symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, stomachache, excess need to urinate, and an unbearable headache. This is why your best bet is not drink too much.
And above all, don’t indulge in different types of alcoholic beverages. That would worsen the stomach cramps. There are also some pre- and post-drinking tips that you can follow to get relief from the hangover quick or prevent one completely. The top one being that you should stay hydrated before, during, and after your drinking session.
7 – Get rest and sunlight
Getting ample rest and sunlight should be your next priorities. Sleep a good number of hours. Don’t ruin your sleep habits but get rest often to enjoy your off days. Don’t think too much about office-related work. It’s important to set clear boundaries between the two to prevent burnout.
And your holidays are a time off that shouldn’t be dedicated to work. Apart from nighttime sleep, catch sunlight in the morning. Since winter blues can also hit, it’s best to get a good amount of vitamin D. This will prevent depressive symptoms and keep you in good spirits.
8 – Get moving
If you already exercise, holidays shouldn’t be a time when you take a break from your regular workout sessions. In fact, continue breaking a sweat. If you don’t already exercise, add some physical activity to your routine. You don’t have to head to the gym for this.
Simply, walk for half an hour regularly. This also has several benefits for your health. Not only does exercise get you in shape, it increases your focus, sharpens mental acuity, boosts energy, and reduces the risk of multiple diseases. It reduces stress and encourages you to conquer more goals. Working out, even walking daily, helps lower blood pressure and maintain healthy sugar levels.