Most of us approach the holidays with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and maybe a little dread. After all, it's natural to feel a little anxious or overwhelmed as we look towards the next several weeks. Holiday travel, shopping, cooking, and planning all bring stress that can take hold and leave you feeling drained and tired before the holidays even arrive. Strive for a peaceful season with some of these tips:
- Plan ahead. Avoid last-minute travel, purchases and outings by planning ahead now. Keep a calendar of commitments so you don’t overextend yourself, and block out specific times for shopping, cooking, decorating and attending festivities.
- Set Expectations. From family and friends to work situations, setting expectations is an important part of stress-management. Does your job require more hours during the holiday season? Are incoming family members planning various outings? With so much to handle during this busy season, set realistic expectations for what you can and want to participate in. Remember that it's okay to say no!
- Stick to a budget: Gift giving is an important part of many holiday traditions, but it can quickly spiral out of control. Establish a budget and stick to it. Remember that gifts don't have to be expensive – and it truly is the thought that counts!
- Take care of your health. There's never a good time to get sick, but the holidays are no doubt one of the worst times to deal with an illness. Get your flu shot, wash your hands, and avoid crowded situations where other people may be sick. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't disappeared, so continue to take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Plan time for yourself. It's easy to feel lost during a busy time of year, but don't forget to set time aside to do the things you need. Go for a walk, curl up with a good book, or relax with a warm bath. The important thing is to take some time every day just for yourself – no matter how busy your day may be.
This article first appeared in the November 2022 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.