For many of us, the holiday season is a joyful time filled with family and friends, however for some it can be quite stressful. Dysfunctional relationships can bring about a different set of stresses as old patterns of behavior emerge from holiday pressures and our ability to cope can drastically diminish. For many the holidays can also bring on feelings of sadness and loneliness.
If you find yourself suffering from additional holiday stress such as these, there are things you can do to help reduce your anxiety.
As a counselor and hypnotherapist, my clients can sometimes set their expectations for the holidays too high, and then when they are not met it induces stress. Remember that no family, child or partner is perfect. I can assure that not everything will go as you plan, therefore try to start out with lower expectations and accept that there will be holiday bumps in the snow.
Here are a few additional tips on reducing holiday stress in order to bring about a peaceful and joyful season:
Budget your time.
Construct a healthy time budget by planning ahead. Commit only a certain amount of time for holiday cooking, decorating, events, parties and shopping.
Create a shopping budget.
Everyone loves to give gifts for the holidays as an expression of love. Although good intention is evident, when debt is occurred it can dramatically increases stress levels. Plan ahead and stick to the plan that you have created.
Be mindful of holiday food and alcohol consumption.
The holidays are known for its endless treats and goodies. Too much added sugars can cause blood sugar highs and lows. This can actually create more anxiety within the body. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods, but be mindful of your intake.
Continue your exercise program.
It is extremely important that you continue and possibly even increase your exercise program during the holidays. Exercise helps to reduce both calories and holiday stress. Try adding a quick, brisk walk to your daily routine.
Don’t get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle of continually going without rest. You mustn’t push yourself. Meditation can be extremely beneficial for stress. Find a few minutes of solitude, close your eyes and focus on shallow breathing. Start by relaxing your feet then slowly moving up your body. Once you reach your mind, allow peace to flow within the entire body.
The holidays are to be enjoyed with moderation in mind so use this season to make a change and create new rituals. Remember, you cannot control others behavior, but you can control yours and using these helpful tips can help! Know when to say no. Focus on peace, happiness and positivity while keeping the essence of the holidays in mind.
By taking care of yourself, you can reduce and overcome your holiday stress this season but most importantly…remember to have fun and enjoy the spirit of the season!