10 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress
The holidays are full of joy, cheer, and stress. It's overwhelming to help plan family get-togethers, pick out the perfect gift for everyone in your life, bake and cook for parties, and make time for your busier than usual social calendar — especially when you still have to juggle your regular work schedule.
Even though it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, our hectic schedules may leave us feeling more high-strung than usual. With a little planning and some mindfulness, these tips can help you maintain the holiday spirit and enjoy the season.
Lower Your Expectations
As we gear up for the holidays, we often set the bar impossibly high for ourselves and then feel upset when our celebrations don’t live up to expectations (such as every New Year’s Eve ever). Being on social media constantly can make us feel even worse. We compare our lives to others', making us feel like we don’t measure up. Acknowledge that things don’t always go exactly as planned. At the same time, fight the urge to feel constantly connected and cut back on your screen time.
We need to stop biting off more than we can chew. The holidays often come with a lot of pressure to do, well... everything. Between holiday parties, school events, and family gatherings, the list of things to do can be endless. But it is important to remember that you can say no to things. Sure, there are some functions you're obligated to attend, but if something is going on that you're not that interested in or don’t really have the time for, just politely decline. It could leave you feeling happier, and there's no reason to force yourself to do it all.
Practice Healthy Habits
We all overdo it. We know the importance of a balanced diet and plenty of sleep, but because there are so many distractions we forget to take care of ourselves. We are at the greatest risk of catching the dreaded flu, or some other bug when our immune system is weak, and nobody’s got time for that! Focus on maintaining healthy habits and wash your hands often. Consider incorporating all-natural, homeopathic remedies that support health and balance ongoing. Elderberry syrup and Fire Cider are revered by herbalists for their ability to support the immune system and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms if they occur. Newton Homeopathics support your digestive, nervous, and immune systems to help them function naturally. Stress burns you out. These will build you up.
In addition to being good for your health, exercise is a proven stress-reliever; something that will lift your spirits, make you more energized, and help boost your immune system. Try to do something active every day. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, it’s better than nothing. Take the stairs at work or a quick walk if the weather is nice. Plus, the more exercise you do the more it’ll help you get out ahead of the inevitable holiday weight gain. So many cookies, so little time… For more ideas on staying active during the holidays, check out last week's blog post from Farmview Market's in-house dietitian.
Do Your Shopping Online
It can be fun to go to the mall and check out the holiday decorations, but if you're just not up for the crowds, then take advantage of the beauty of online shopping. It's quick, convenient, and allows you to avoid lines inside and turf wars in the parking lot. Farmview Market has a great variety of gift items online.
As research has shown, acts of kindness toward others benefit the giver every bit as much as the person on the receiving end. It may seem counterintuitive to add something into an already jammed schedule, but helping someone else can reduce your stress. Consider volunteering or round up gently-used toys or winter coats to donate to those in need. There are countless ways to practice kindness. Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you, send a text to tell someone you’re thinking of them, smile at a stranger. Even just paying someone a heartfelt compliment can lift your spirit.
If you start to feel stressed and intimidated by your to-do list, take a breather, sit down, and put on a funny movie that is guaranteed to make you laugh. Laughing can boost your mood, as well as reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body. You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine.
Take A Breath
When things seem too overwhelming, give yourself a 5-minute time-out to light a candle, take a few deep breaths, and enjoy the sound of silence.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
What better way to calm your mind, relax and unwind than to spend time with your loved ones? Being in the mere presence of friends and family can actually physically reduce our stress. Studies show that kissing, hugging, and cuddling can increase levels of oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) and decrease cortisol levels, which can reduce stress.
Diffuse Essential Oils
Pure essential oils are known for their many therapeutic properties. Did you know Lavender has a calming aroma that promotes peaceful sleep and eases feelings of tension? Check out the soothing benefits of Cheeky Maiden Essential Oils.
You can find all of these stress-relieving products and more at Farmview Market.