By Jillian Mellum, Social Media & Administrative Manager, Senescence Life Sciences
Another holiday season is upon us and it’s time to sit back, relax and spend some quality time with friends and family….
…but have you set aside enough time for all your friends and family? Even that one relative you only see over the holidays and don’t always get along with? Have you started planning for that big holiday party you’re hosting? Did you remember to purchase that one-of-a-kind gift before it’s sold out? Have you mailed your Christmas cards yet? Have you finished your holiday baking!? Did you remember to turn the stove off?!
It may not come as a surprise that some of us struggle to sit back and relax over what should be a stress-free time of year. For many, the additional demands the holidays place on us can cause more stress and anxiety than we experience the 334 days prior.
Are you one of many who finds the holidays sometimes stressful? If so we would like to offer some helpful insight on what causes this stress and what you can do to alleviate it, so you get the stress-free, relaxing holiday season that you deserve!
Why Are The Holidays Stressing Me Out?
There are several things that might be causing your holiday stress -
Feeling Overwhelmed. Office parties, trips to the shopping mall and countless family gatherings can pull you every which way, leaving you very little time to tackle your holiday to-do-list and even less time for yourself.
Money. It’s no secret that the holidays can be an expensive time of year. Buying presents for friends and family, sending custom greeting cards and hosting a festive gathering can easily have you running over budget.
Emotional and Physical Fatigue. Numerous social gatherings, endless conversations and trips in, out and around town with little or no time to recover can leave you feeling mentally and physically exhausted.
Overindulgence. Amidst all the festive cheer it’s easy to lose track of all the healthy diet and exercise habits you’ve spent the past year developing. An increase of empty carbs, sugary snacks and alcohol consumption can not only cause lethargy, but the awareness that you’re deviating from your healthy routine can also add to your stress.
High Expectations. The holidays are meant to be a joyous time filled with love and cheer but maybe this year you’re feeling a little blue instead and getting into the holiday spirit isn’t as easy. It can be hard to put on a cheery face when you’re not exactly feeling that way inside.
What Can I Do About Holiday Stress So I Can Enjoy The Holidays?
The good news is that there are many things you can do in order to help alleviate holiday stress, so you can truly appreciate your time off.
Make a plan. Plan well in advance of the season with a list of the things you must accomplish and a list of those things you want to accomplish, so you can better prioritize your time. Make a habit of setting aside a little extra time for any last minute activities or tasks.
Set a budget. Create a budget and stick to it no matter how tempted you might be to spend a little extra here and there. Gift exchanges, “Secret Santa”, handmade gifts or simply offering your services to someone in need of a helping hand are some cost effective gift ideas to help reign in your holiday finances.
Schedule time to rest. Don’t overextend yourself – it’s okay to say no occasionally! You don’t have to accept every invitation that is offered. Instead, I invite you to give yourself opportunities to rest and recharge with a good night’s sleep.
Be honest with yourself. This isn’t a season conducive to exercise and healthy eating. Don’t be afraid to enjoy some delicious treats and the odd alcoholic beverage but do so in moderation. And if you can sneak in a little exercise, it can help to alleviate stress and give you a much needed boost of energy.
Temper expectations. The holidays aren’t going to be perfect and you don’t have to be either. Don’t put pressure on yourself to live up to the holiday cheer if you just aren’t feeling it this year. Take time to unwind and reflect on what made you happy this past year and use that knowledge to help set goals for the year to come.
Above all, if you need to take a break and give yourself time to recharge, allow yourself to do exactly that.
A Happy and Stress-Free Holiday Season
Hopefully the tips above will help you to alleviate some of your holiday stress so you can have a healthier and happier holiday season. Remember that you’re not alone if you find this to be a stressful time of year.
If the holidays become too overwhelming please reach out to a friend, family member or even your doctor so you can take the additional steps needed in order to alleviate your holiday stress.
We at Senescence Life Sciences would like to wish everyone a calm, stress-free and relaxing holiday season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you from all of us here at Senescence!
10 Common Holiday Stresses and How to Cope with Them. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-age-anxiety/201111/10-common-holiday-stresses-and-how-cope-them-0. Accessed December 2017.
10 Common Holiday Stresses and How to Cope with Them. http://www.cpmc.org/about/e-health/11-05%20healthy-holidays.html. Accessed December 2017.
Healthy Lifestyle. Stress Management. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544. Accessed December 2017.
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