by Barbara Latta
|Stores erect Christmas trees earlier each year.|
The stores have already erected Christmas trees before the Halloween decorations have left the shelves and commercials for much sought after gifts bombard our senses. We can start to feel the pinch and pressure to out-perform last year or add to an already crowded calendar.
How can we enjoy the celebrations with our friends and family without being overcome by stress and depression?
According to the Mayo Clinic and Health.com here are some tips to keep our lives in balance during busy holidays:
- Don’t expect more than you can handle: Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. The goal of spending time with loved ones is fun and fellowship. If eating off paper plates cuts down on the stress of having a perfectly set table, go for it. The fellowship will be more enjoyable.
- Stick to a budget: Pressure to purchase
expensive gifts can create dissension in the family finances and put a damper
on the pleasure of giving. Paying for presents months after they are purchased
keeps the stress level going way past the Christmas
Everything doesn't have to be perfect to be good.
- Plan ahead: Look at the calendar a few weeks ahead and write down when to do shopping, cooking, school and church functions while allowing for family and friend visits. When events are organized in advance, the pressure of trying to remember what needs to be done can relieve minds. And when too much is asked of us, we need to be able to say no.
- Go for a walk: Walking has a tranquilizing effect on the brain and decreases anxiety and improves sleep. Being refreshed will make for a more enjoyable season.
- Don’t neglect humor: Laughing reduces stress hormones which aid immune cell functionality. And who doesn’t enjoy a good comedy or joke?
- Take a break: Fifteen minutes away from noise, electronics and crowds will not cost anything on your schedule but can bring the added benefit of a mind vacation. We all need to take a breather every so often to give ourselves a jump start.
- Volunteer: Helping an organization or church function takes our mind off ourselves and puts our thoughts on another person’s needs. After all, that’s what Christmas is all about.
|Volunteering takes our minds off ourselves.|
What are other ways you reduce holiday stress? Share your thoughts and ideas.