It seems the holiday cheer falls upon us earlier and earlier every year. Christmas candy hits the shelves the day after Halloween, and Black Friday shopping has taken over Thanksgiving. What may not be on everyone’s mind while scouring flyers for holiday deals is the stress that comes during the holidays. According to a study conducted by the American Physiological Association, 38 percent of people feel their stress increases around the holidays. Stress can negatively impact our health from increasing blood pressure to spiked depression and anxiety levels. Here are several tips on how to reduce stress during the holidays, allowing you to focus on spreading cheer and spending time with loved ones.
Keep yourself in mind.
When people think of the holidays they think of spending time with family and friends—this usually means a lot of running around, often leaving you overwhelmed and drained. It is important to remember to take time for yourself this holiday season. Treat yourself to a new book, invest in a bubble bath, or plan a lazy day amidst the holiday activities.
Maintain a normal schedule.
The holiday season lasts several months but it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Even with a bunch of sugar cookies to frost it is important to stick to your schedule. Going to bed at your “normal” time allows your body to regenerate, leaving you rested and ready to untangle strands of Christmas lights. Sticking to your normal schedule also provides organization amidst the chaos of wrapping gifts and holiday parties.
You’re not alone.
When your holiday checklist is getting longer instead of shorter, remember you are not the only person feeling frazzled. During this time to remember to exercise compassion as many others are also experiencing the same stress you are. Slowing down and letting the needs of others come first allows you to reenergize while providing help to someone in need.
Remember, most importantly, to enjoy the holidays and spend time with family and friends. From all of us at ClearChoiceMD, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!
Zaide Ladensack, author of this blog post, is a member of our team in Scarborough, ME.