Let’s face it, even though the holidays are full of wonderful memories with family and friends, they are stressful. Adding gift shopping, cooking and travel to our already jam-packed lives can leave you feeling exhausted and stressed – not joyful and merry. We often take all this stress for granted, but too much can leave us feeling cranky, tired and trigger depression. The holiday season can be hard on many levels, but if you happen to also be dealing with health issues such as cancer, the holidays can indeed take a toll on your health as well.
Before things get overwhelming, here are some tips to consider as we head into this busy, but wonderful time of year.
Keep a calendar. Keep track of must-attend events and travel dates and accept/decline additional invites around those most important ones. Set priorities around things you want to achieve and be realistic with what’s possible.
Remember it’s OK to say no. Once your calendar starts to fill up, it’s entirely acceptable to politely decline invitations. This also goes for volunteer requests, social events, church events and traveling. Carefully schedule your appointments, and listen to your body when it needs rest.
Stay on budget. Sometimes we go all-out in the attempt to find the perfect gift. There is rarely a perfect gift. Maintain your budget and January’s stress will be greatly reduced.
Ask for help. You don’t have to take it all on yourself. Children can wrap gifts, decorate cookies and help more around the house during this time of year. You could also combine a get-together with friends or family with a gift-wrapping night or a cookie swap. If you need help with things like decorating, ask friends to come over and help and offer an afternoon of catching up and cocoa and cookies when they’re finished.
Watch what you eat and drink. The holidays are filled with delicious food and opportunities to over indulge. It’s certainly fine to enjoy yourself, but too much over indulgence can be bad for your waistline, and too much alcohol can make for misery the following day. Remember to take it easy, drink lots of water, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as an option during the meals. If you’re able to exercise, continue your exercise plan throughout the holiday season.
Take time to enjoy the season. Take time for reflection and pause to remember loved ones near and far. Counting your blessings is one way to deflect all the pressure and stress the season brings. Enjoy those around you.