Simple Health Blog

Tips to Avoid Stress Over the Holidays

Nov 16, 2021 | Friends and Home Life, Stress Management

Do you realize the holidays are right around the corner is in eleven days?  This is right around the corner and will come quickly.  Are you already preparing your festivities?  What will you be doing?  Will the holidays be at your home, a family’s home or a visit with friends?

Plan Ahead:  Know what your schedule for the holidays looks like.  Will you be traveling?  Do you have to cook?  Is there work at the office that needs to be completed?  Do your children have specific schedules you need to be aware of?  Will everyone be coming to your home to celebrate or will you be visiting others at their home?  Keep all these in mind and be sure to plan your time, accordingly.  Look at your schedule(s) and know what is happening and when.

Organize:  Know what you have to do in advance.  Organization goes hand and hand with planning.  Once you have your plan in place, you can begin to organize how you will get everything done and keep stress to a minimum.  For example, if you need to cook and need special ingredients, think about shopping on Monday or Tuesday so you just have to prepare the foods.  Or, take a look at your schedule and plan your visits to the food stores when you are out and about instead of making a run just to get specific foods.

Delegate:  Do you have someone that can help you prepare?  Are their other people in your home that can help you shop, cook or clean?  If so, delegate specific jobs to each individual to take the load off your plate.  Maybe you are having the meal at your home.  Don’t try to do all the cooking of vegetables, grains and desserts.  Ask your guests to choose a dish to prepare and just be sure there is a balance in the menu items with all food groups represented.

Prepare Items in Advance:  If you have the opportunity, begin preparing your decorations two weeks in advance, set the table the day before and shop a few days in advance so you are ready to cook as soon as you get up on the day of the event.  Preparing these items in advance will settle your mind and allow you to have less stress in the process of the holiday.

Eat Well Before the Meal:  This goes without saying.  Please be sure to have a really good breakfast with protein and vegetables the days leading up to your holiday meal.

Exercise:  This is such a simple task but often gets overlooked in the hectic schedule.  Be sure to set a minimum of 30-minutes aside to exercise.  This will help you feel better about your food choices at the table and you will not have a tendency to eat as much as you normally would.  It would also be great if you could take a 30-minute walk once the meal is complete and cleaned up.

Sleep:  I cannot stress the importance of sleep on the body.  Be sure to sleep soundly for at least eight hours the eve of your special holiday.  Rest can help keep us on track and helps with our energy levels throughout the day so we are not craving for simple starches and sugars.  It also will help with your moods and emotions if you are in a position of dealing with difficult individuals on this day.  If you need a refresher on sleep, go back to October and read the blog on the importance of sleep.

Ignore Family/Friends snide comments:  We all have times when we dread heading into the holidays and visiting homes of others that may not say the kindest of words.  It is imperative that the snide comments being said or gestures being made are ignored on your end and not taken personally.  This is often hard for many of us.  Make the choice before you see someone that you have a challenge with to not engage in negative comments that will hurt you.  Let the comment come and go in your mind.  Know that you are grounded and are a wonderful person regardless of what is being said to you.  Make the choice to stay positive and walk away from the situation when the time is right.  Remember you are in charge of your feelings and do not allow someone to ruin your holiday because they are not in a good place.  Stand your ground and be happy!

Breathe:   Such a simple step in the schemes and throws of a busy day yet so often easily forgotten.  I cannot stress the importance of breathing to help decrease stress.  A breath can calm and message the body to relax.  Take five to six deep breaths every hour and note the difference this makes throughout the day.  Try it!  You just might like the feeling of a more relaxed holiday all because you remembered to breathe every hour!

Some of us have a break in their schedule at Christmas where others are thinking about all the festivities ahead.  Once Christmas passes, the New Year celebrations begin.

Whatever your celebration may be with your families and friends don’t forget to plan, organize, delegate, exercise, sleep, and eat balanced.  Stay grounded, keep stress to minimum and don’t forget to breathe.

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