Tis’ the season to be happy – but frazzled
The Christmas holiday season is believed to be a time of pleasure especially in the company of friends and family. Unfortunately, this season can also carry an array of unwanted emotions, most especially stress and anxiety. The ‘most wonderful time of the year’ can often make you end up feeling drained instead.
However, it still doesn’t come as a surprise when these ill-feelings happen during this time of the year. Between shopping for gifts, cleaning, entertaining guests, preparing, cooking, and baking, Christmas is certainly a dizzying occasion. Many individuals have become overwhelmed with the amount of pressure certain factors can bring during the holiday season. Overspending, debts on credit card usage, and not knowing what gifts to buy are just some of the few issues that can lead to emotional and physical stress during the holidays.
As a result, too much stress can have harmful effects on our state of mind and body. When this happens, we end up with health problems like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
Some scientific research even reported that levels of occurrence in deaths relating to heart disease is high during the Christmas season. It is due to the stress that makes individuals eat more unhealthy foods, drink obscene amounts of alcohol, and generally slack off.
With that said, it is important to deal with stress during this season properly. Stress can often come in subtle ways, so it’s necessary to stop for a moment when it is at its peak. Below are top ten health tips to help you lower stress and anxiety levels this Christmas.
- Understand that you’re not alone in all this
Christmas happens every year. The pressure of impressing guests shouldn’t be something to leave you overwhelmed. Giving gifts to every member of your family and friends shouldn’t be extravagant year after year.
The idea of this holiday season is to enjoy and be merry with people who matter. Try not to sacrifice your happiness for others. It’s also not wrong to talk to your family about this. Perhaps, they would prefer a quiet dinner at home this year instead of a big gathering.
- Take a breather in-between
It’s only a couple of days away before Christmas arrives, and you realize you haven’t wrapped the gifts yet. There are so many things left you haven’t done. Don’t panic. Instead, as you slowly get up from bed, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Put your mind at ease and imagine a pleasant memory.
If that isn’t enough, it’s also a good idea to join yoga and meditation classes. Make sure that you set aside time between your busy schedules to relax.
- Avoid eating and drinking in excess
It’s understandable that the Christmas season is a time when food and drinks are aplenty. It becomes difficult to resist reaching out for another serving of that yummy chocolate cake or apple pie. The usual culprits responsible for our expanding waistline include caffeine, sugar, as well as alcohol.
If you’re serious about staying healthy, then it’s best to not give in to temptation. The ideal way to handle an issue like this is to eat a balanced meal before heading out to a party. When offered snacks and finger-foods, take small and polite portions. If you’re addicted to sugar, make sure to drink plenty of water or have herbal tea before bed.
- Keep yourself active and fit
When stress happens, we not only eat more, but we also exercise less. Keeping fit is one effective method of reducing stress and anxiety during this holiday season. If you’re not fond of gym memberships, there are other ways you can do to sweat off all that sugar and carbs. Here are some suggestions:
- It helps to plan early and create an organized list
Christmas time is a time to plan a celebration. However, doing so at the last minute can often lead to disaster which then leads to stress. Create a timeline for yourself on shopping, cleaning, cooking and visiting schedules. Make a list of the things and ingredients and buy them weeks in advance to avoid the hassles of long-lines at the supermarket.
- Set those differences aside
Yes, there are family members who are difficult especially during this season. Try and avoid confrontations and conflict during this time as it can make gatherings become a fiasco which can lead to anxiety. Chances are, these difficult family members are also undergoing their stress and depression too.
- Create a budget and stick to it
It’s easy to go overboard during Christmas especially when buying the perfect gift or decorations for the house. However, it’s also necessary to be realistic and know how much you can afford.
Make a budget for whatever items that you need to buy and stick to it. That way, it avoids the stress of credit card debts and overspending on unnecessary things.
- Delegate help from family and friends
Wrapping gifts, cooking, cleaning are tasks that you shouldn’t do on your own. Doing so can only leave you stressed and tired. In the end, you will become too drained to enjoy yourself during the festivities.
Get your family involved during the entire season. Discuss what you’re planning to do during Christmas and include them in the budget and organizing. In that way, it lessens disappointments when expectations are not met.
- Find something to do that’s different
Christmas is a time of giving. To ease the stress of preparation, why not try doing volunteer or community work? Spend time distributing food in homeless shelters or helping your local church organize events for orphaned children.
The feeling of giving back to your community can give a kind of spiritual enrichment that no dollar can buy.
- Most importantly, learn to be flexible and have fun
Impressing your guests with delicious meals and beautiful decorations and gifts shouldn’t be a priority this season. It’s a time to have fun and enjoy yourself along with other people. Chances are, most people won’t even remember that your dinner set didn’t match the table cover. In fact, they won’t even remember half the things that happened during the event.
So, don’t stress. Just loosen up and laugh it out when things unexpectedly don’t go your way. It’s necessary for your health and well-being.
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