The holiday season is in full swing, and by now, you’ve probably been invited to several holiday parties, asked to partake in Secret Santa, and agreed to do at least one cookie exchange. All of this during one of the busiest times of year can cause a person to feel completely overwhelmed and not allow you to enjoy this magical season as you should. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America “For many people, the idea of entering a crowded room and chatting up coworkers or strangers at a party, exchanging gifts with friends, traveling from home, or attending large family gatherings can produce intense anxiety, depression, or both”. Knowing this, we want to highlight the importance of managing expectations, saying no, and prioritizing self-care during the holidays.
Here are our three tips to reduce holiday stress and actually enjoy this magical season of warmth, giving, and togetherness:
Set Your Limit
Before the holidays even begin, set your limit. How many parties will you make time for? Set a gift budget and make a list – does the office Secret Santa fit? It not, then politely decline to participate. Do you like to bake cookies? No? Then say no to the exchange! If you love to bake, decide how many exchanges you will participate in and stick to it!
Make a Holiday Calendar
Having something visual to reference all your December activities will make it easier to be realistic about what you can do. If you see a week where you are already committed to 3-4 events, it is wise to turn down any additional invites. Being away from home for many consecutive nights will really throw off your healthy routine and make it hard to accomplish your normal daily tasks. All of this translated to added stress that you just don’t need!
Schedule “You” Time
Whether it’s sticking to your normal workout or meditation routine, or planning some time to spend at home watching your favorite holiday movies with your family, scheduling “you” time is super important during the holidays. This could mean blocking off one weekend to do nothing, scheduling 30 minutes a day to do some yoga and unplug, or whatever you need it to be in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
We hope these tips will help you create a more calm, enjoyable holiday season that is exactly what you hope it will be!