Eight of the Best Ways to Stop Holiday Stress

Now that's a headache! photo by David Hennessey © 2010

Holiday times can be a wonderful time of year but they can also bring more of the unwanted ‘S’ word into our lives.

Yes, unwanted stress can arrived for many reasons like the temporary presence of relatives we don’t always like to have around or the physical pressure of all the extra energy we need to use to do all the preparation that comes with the holiday season. Indeed, there is also the financial pressure than can come from stretching an already tight budget when you want to buy some gifts or prepare an extra meal for those you care about.

So what can you do to stop holiday stress before it arrives?

Here are some of the best ways to stop holiday stress:

**

One

Be Yourself

Remember you are who you are and you are wonderful just as you are. Be yourself during the holiday season. There is no need to live up to someone else’s expectations.

**

Two

Be on Budget

I remember I used to go overboard on my credit card every time there was an opportunity to buy a gift for a former girlfriend. Now I know what I can afford to spend and I stick to my budget. I also know now that the personal touch is much better than an expensive store bought gift. If you need, decide and write down the exact amount of money you are going to spend and then decide how you are going to spend it before you do so. This extra bit of planning can save you from after the season financial stresses.

**

Three

Be Involved

Perhaps this is the year when you take the step to get more involved in community. You can participate in an already established community help group or perhaps, you can do what we did last year. We bought extra food and went around giving food to those in need. You don’t have to get community involved but if you feel a little lonely you can sure feel better when you help others feel better.

**

Four

Be Realistic

Know your limitations when it comes to your energy level and avoid exhausting yourself and becoming grumpy around other people because you try to do more than is humanly possible

**

Five

Be a Planner

To help keep everything in balance take a calendar and mark down all the commitments you have and then decided what you can attend and what you can’t due to limitations on travel time, work and family responsibilities etc. When you plan ahead you can see if what you are going to do will be stressful or not.

**

Six

Be Clear

Just say no. When you make your plans and you find yourself already crunched for time be willing to say no that you can’t do xyz or that you are not available to attend the abc gathering. Instead, in response you can suggest to those involved that you could connect or help out at another time after the holiday or Christmas season is over.

**

Seven

Be Healthy

Remember to continue to practice as much as you can healthy habits like taking the time to sleep, eat healthy food and drink water.

If you start to reduce your sleep take the time to top up by taking naps.

If you are rushed when it comes to eating healthy consider preparing some healthy snacks to take with you when you are shopping. Also, maintain a certain amount of healthy balance when you are eating during the holidays.

The only thing I will say you definitely can’t afford to reduce is your consumption of water because water can help you better manage stress. In fact, if you don’t have a stainless steel water bottle to carry water around with you as you go from place to place you need to click over to this review of water bottles and choose a water bottle that works for you. You can also visit this children’s water bottle review and get a bottle or two for gifts for children you know.

**

Eight

Be Alone

Even if you are low on sleep and as a result low on energy and you are drinking lots of water remember to take quiet time. If you practise yoga or mediation or simply walk in nature you will help reduce your stress level. You can also simply take the time to read an inspiring book like Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life or another inspirational book you will find on my recommended reading list.

Peace and Smiles to you,

Your friend on the journey,

David