Getting Through the Holiday Season – Stress-Free
If you are not feeling very cheery this holiday season, you are not by yourself. Coping with holiday stress is complex. The holiday season is ordinarily joyful but can also be stressful. We love our families and how the season brings us together, laughing, sharing memories, and eating way too much food. However, the pressure of entertaining, finding the perfect gifts, and doing it all, takes its toll. In addition, stress leads to poor health – emotional and physical, weakening your body’s immune system, making you more likely to get colds, be anxious and upset, and neglect taking care of yourself.
This season will be no different, perhaps even more stressful, as this is the first season in two years that people can travel and see their loved ones. The best way to enjoy the holidays and prevent overwhelming stress levels is to be mindful and practice self-care.
The self-care steps
1. Allow yourself to feel – the most crucial step in destressing and emotional self-care is allowing yourself to feel and experience the emotions that come to you.
2. Know your emotional triggers – Once you experience your feelings, you will become much more familiar with them and observe patterns. Once you understand the reactions, you will know how to reduce negative emotions.
3. Put your own needs first – When we have other people who depend on us, we often neglect ourselves. Switching your focus to yourself is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but for others as well.
4. Keep your eye on the prize – Don’t lose sight of what is important this time of year.
5. Learn to say No – We often try to take on too much responsibility, causing pressure and stress.
6. Practice Meditation – Regular Meditation can help increase resilience in difficult situations and make you react to your emotions less often.
7. Ask for help – Sometimes, we need to accept that we cannot do everything alone.
8. Do something you love each day – You would be surprised at how much better you feel just by doing something you enjoy.
9. Create a playlist of calming music – Music is a great way to relax your body and your mind, which will, in turn, soothe your emotions.
10. Exercise — Even short walks through a park or around the neighborhood helps clear your mind and benefit your overall health.
11. Practice gratitude – By appreciating your accomplishments, your loved ones and friends, and accepting your current life, you feel better about yourself and, in turn, your life.