'Tis the season for celebrating another year past and honoring our precious traditions. 'Tis the season for sharing extra smiles, sweets and heartfelt sentiments with the ones we love.
While December is the time we speak most of peace on earth, it also is a time accompanied by a lot of stress for most individuals.
The influx of television advertisements and mail order catalogs over stimulate the brain and trigger us into holiday overdrive. This leads to frantic shopping, decorating and other misguided attempts to keep a pace faster than Santa’s sleigh. Somewhere along the way, we find ourselves frustrated about losing the wonder we had as children at this time of year and vow to do everything differently next year.
Here are some tips for managing stress during the holiday season:
- Let go of self-imposed deadlines. In your heart, you know which things on your to-do list are essential and which are flexible. So pare your list down accordingly. Send a few holiday cards to those who mean the most to you instead of trying to address one hundred envelopes each year.
- Eat properly. An overzealous schedule running around town can lead you to skip meals. On the other hand, indulging in too many holiday goodies may give you a quick boost of sugar that later can make you feel tired. Keeping your energy level even will help decrease stress.
- Get enough sleep. Too many late nights, be it from holiday concerts to cooking, lead to the inability to multitask the next day.
- Stay committed to exercising. Maintaining your regular exercise regimen increases your stamina and helps you handle the demands of the season. It also keeps those holiday pounds from sticking to you in the New Year.
- It’s o.k. to say no. You don’t have to attend every single party.
- Realize things don't have to be perfect. When you over bake the holiday cookies a little – just smile and move on.
May you find one night to stay home from the party and eat burnt cookies while thumbing through a catalog, but most importantly, may you be surrounded by the spirit of the holidays and the love of dear family and friends.