Sure, it’s the season of joy but it’s also the busiest time of year for most. Holiday shopping, celebrating with friends and family, cooking, traveling, and rounding out projects before the end of the year leaves many stressed, frazzled, and perhaps wishing for the holidays to be over already. If that sounds anything like you, stress busters for the busiest time of year could be your simple solution to a happier holiday.
Before you pull your hair out, try these stress busters to uncomplicate your holiday season:
At the onset of your more stressful periods, stop and set some priorities for yourself. Your own guidelines for what you find important and how you want your holiday season to look can help you stay focused on your goals. Think big picture, like spending quality time with family, creating happy memories of togetherness (not perfection), and finding meaning in the season for love, devotion, and gratitude.
With all that said, you still need to get stuff done and that’s when you can employ your stellar organizational skills. Make a plan, stay focused, and chip away at it a little bit at a time. Even when you feel overwhelmed, keep little things moving forward so you can get through everything you want to accomplish. By organizing gift lists, festive meal planning, your holiday calendar, and any other moving pieces on your plate, you will be less likely to overschedule and more likely to succeed.
Remember, asking for help is not failure, it’s realistic. Even Santa has elves that support his lofty goals and you too can use this strategy for your holiday happenings. In fact, sometimes including others makes them feel important and adds a layer of fun and teamwork to otherwise tedious tasks.
Stop and Smell the Mistletoe
Put yourself on the top of your holiday wish list so you won’t forget to enjoy the season. It’s the small moments that can make a big difference and they are often missed if you’re stressed, short-tempered, and pre-occupied.
Take some time to relax and do something for yourself. This is even more important when you are overwhelmed because it makes you stop, rejuvenate and start afresh. Doing things you enjoy – whether it’s exercising, reading, or going to a nice dinner – may even make you more productive when you return to your holiday to-do list. Also, don’t forget to smile, laugh, hug and think positively. These small gestures have phenomenal benefits for your mental state.
Create a Peace Bubble
It’s inevitable that there will be some less-than-desirable moments during the holiday season, but you can handle them better this year with the right attitude. When the hiccups arise, enter your peace bubble where negativity is impenetrable. This “let it go” mentality can get you through your holiday season with less stress and more happiness.
Keep in mind that your bubble is not meant to maintain perfection, but rather to let go of an unrealistic expectation of it. The ideal of perfection sets yourself up for failure. Give yourself the break you deserve and let your bubble be a freeing, calming, and non-judgmental space.
We recognize that using these stress busters is not always easy. That’s when you can re-start your outlook with a few quick fixes:
- Go outside for fresh air and sunlight. Especially in the winter, moods can spiral from lack of light, vitamin D and the freedom of the great outdoors. A 15 to 20-minute stroll can flip the scene in your favor.
- Use food to your advantage. Indulging in holiday goodies is fine but be sure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs too. When you need a pick-me-up, try honey for energy, spicy foods to release endorphins, or smelling citrus to generate happier vibes.
- Listen to uplifting music to invigorate your body and mind. A few favorite songs can pep you up in no time.
- Take a moment for meditation. Brief moments of mindful meditation have proven to be affective in improving positivity and reducing stress.
- Wear something that feels amazing. When you look good, you feel good and it spreads like wildfire. Your “look good, feel good” outfit is unique to you. It may be a leisure bra, sweatshirt and yoga pants; a sexy black bra and dress; or a casual t-shirt bra, jeans and a blazer. Whatever boosts your look will boost your mood too.
We wish you a happy, low-stress holiday season!