Nexus Health: Five Tips on How to Deal with Holiday Stress
Written by: Meag Hengeveld, Nexus Health Coach
The holidays are meant to be a joyful season, but for most people it ends up being the most stressful time of year. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. During this busy season, we eat too much, drink too much, and spend too much. Combine all of these things and we end up with an overload of stress and little joy.
To make the most out of the 2019 season and end the year in good health, follow these five steps to reduce holiday stress!
List Priorities: Make a list of your top three priorities during this season and stick to it. Examples of priorities could include, not going into debt for gifts, spending time with certain loved ones, focusing on events instead of gifts, etc. Don’t be afraid to say no. If your budget doesn’t allow you to participate in all of the dirty santa gift exchanges, it’s okay! Spending time with friends is so much more important than stressing over money. People will understand. If your time doesn’t allow you to make homemade baked goods, swing by a bakery instead. Having priorities and saying no to other things will guard your overall health and allow you to fully enjoy the season.
Don’t try to do ALL the things: Baking, caroling, seeing lights, going to parties, gift shopping, visiting all the people that invite you over, decorating, and mailing cards easily adds up and overwhelms our schedule. If you skip out on a few things (like getting store bought cookies instead of baking from scratch), you can focus on really enjoying a select few things. Maintaining a written schedule will help you see what’s important, and what really doesn’t need to use up your precious time. This way you’ll be fully rested and energized going into the new year!
Don’t diet during the holidays: Dieting during the holidays is setting yourself up for failure. However, over-indulging also adds a lot of stress to the body. Instead, be mindful of holiday eating. Enjoy certain treats that you don’t get year round, but pair it with making a few healthier choices as well. For example, only have one serving of grandma’s famous dish instead of three or have a glass of water per holiday drink you have! Don’t let what you eat around Christmas and the new year control your thoughts so much that it causes unnecessary stress. Working on healthy eating habits should come between after Christmas, not the other way around!
Exercise: Don’t let yourself become so busy during this season that you skip out on exercise. Working out puts the good stress on your body so it can handle the bad stress so much better. Plus, with a community like Nexus, giving yourself that hour every day to be around friends and family is one of the best stress relievers around! (Schedule it in!)
Meditate: (Seriously). It’s very easy for anyone and everyone to say they’re too busy for alone/quiet time. However, everyone is capable of waking up 10 minutes earlier…or shutting off the phone or TV 10 minutes earlier at night. Give yourself 10 minutes every day to dedicate toward quiet time and focusing on your breath . Your body needs the oxygen, and your brain needs the quiet to de-stress.