Blogmas – Day 7

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How To Reduce Stress During The Holiday Season

The holidays are usually a fun and exciting time filled with events, Christmas markets, visiting family/friends, cozying up with movies, gift shopping and gift giving, volunteering for causes, etc. but for some, it can also be a bit stressful as it’s a disruption from the usual routine and there may be pressure to fulfill certain obligations or duties during this time. People who work in retail may feel the pressure as this is a busy time of year with everyone doing their holiday shopping. There’s some great ways to help you unwind and relax during the holidays.

Remember that you don’t have to overload yourself with holiday duties. If you’re having a big family gathering, it’s a good idea to ask others to help out and you can delegate tasks to others if you’re normally the one who organizes things and does most of the cooking/work for the occasions. Ask kids to help set the table, arrange to have other family members bring dishes, etc. so there’s less pressure on you.

It’s the thought that counts. Some people don’t need to budget and they can afford to buy others extravagant and generous gifts. For others who need to budget, there may be a little guilt about not being able to buy everyone an epic present. Just know that it’s the thought that counts. A cute card with a little gift card inside will make just about anyone smile – and they’ll remember that you cared enough to give them something for the holidays. Many people opt to hand make gifts, too, so if you’re talented with handmade things, you can save a lot of money on gifts. Just know you don’t need to break the bank to gift someone a nice gift.

Too many events. I love getting dressed up and going to a fun party sometimes, but as an introvert, I’ll become drained and overwhelmed if I have too many events in one week. I’ve simply come to realize I have limitations when it comes to socializing. If you’re similar to me, you can opt to go to a few parties – maybe one per week tops – so that you can still get out and celebrate with others without draining your social battery too much. Don’t let yourself feel pressured to attend every single event or party that’s happening this time of year.

Take a luxurious bath or a hot shower. Nothing relaxes you like steamy water, especially a bubble bath with candles. If you don’t have a bath, you can turn your shower into a spa experience by getting a nice aromatherapy body wash and treating your skin to a mask. It not only relaxes you, but it’ll make you feel pampered. πŸ™‚

Stretch. This is something that is helpful for all times of the year, but if you’re feeling a bit stressed around the holidays, a good stretch before bed can help you loosen up and wind down. A great routine can be as short as 15 minutes. Sometimes we don’t realize how tense we are, and whether we work at a desk job or we’re doing a more physical job, repetitive movements can cause tension and stress on muscles and joints. Stretching helps you unwind and you’ll feel the emotional tension release along with the muscle tension. I like doing a nice stretch after a shower – it helps relax me so I can get to sleep soon after I’m ready for bed.

Stay active. It’s important to keep active and if you’re unable to do your regular workout schedule during the holidays, taking some time to go for a long walk can be a great way to burn off some energy, especially after a big holiday feast. If I’m in a pinch, I’ll often squeeze in a 10 minute quick cardio workout. It pumps your body full of endorphins and it feels great knowing you fit in a workout even if it was shorter.

Remember to have fun. The main point of the holiday season is that it’s a time to connect with family and friends to enjoy the season of giving. It doesn’t have to be stressful if you don’t want it to be. Keep it about having fun – pop in a favourite movie, make a hot chocolate and go for a walk to see Christmas lights, etc. There’s so many fun things to do. Life gets better when we do more of the things we enjoy. ❀

I hope everyone has a fun, safe, and happy holiday season! If you’ve been feeling any stress at all during the holidays, I hope some of these tips helped!

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