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20 Dec 4 Tips to Reduce Stress & Anxiety this Holiday Season

The Holiday season is seen as an exciting and joyous time.  But for some, the holidays can be very difficult.  Some are dealing with the stress of getting all their shopping finished, while others might be overwhelmed with the thought of multiple dinners and family gatherings.  

If you are struggling with stress or anxiety this holiday season, here are a few things to keep in mind to help get you through the coming days:

Set Realistic Goals and Expectations:

Often times, we try to live up to the idea of the perfect holiday season.  Whether its decorations, preparing large meals, or buying the perfect gift for every person on your list – we take on the stress of creating this picture-perfect time for our friends and family.   Before chasing perfection, take time to make a list of what you can reasonably accomplish in the days ahead.  Remember that your friends and family care more about spending time with you, and won’t care if you didn’t make that cranberry sauce from scratch!

Find Balance, and Don’t Over do it

‘Tis the season, and that means you get to enjoy yourself, but with so many celebrations and parties, we all tend to overindulge during the Holidays.  To balance this, take some time to try to maintain regular healthy exercise habits. Do not set unrealistic goals of going to the gym on a daily basis, but make time for fun activities that get you moving. Go skating with friends, tobogganing with the kids, or have a snowball fight! Not only will your body feel better working off some to that food and drink, but it will also help reduce the inevitable holiday stress!

Focus on the Family (and friends)

It’s hard to remember it now, as we all rush around getting the last-minute gifts from crowded stores, but the holidays aren’t all about material things.  When you are done with your To Do list, turn your focus on the important people in your life.  Spend time connecting or reconnecting with those that mean the most, and remember there’s no better or more appropriate time of the year than the holidays to make the most of relationships. 

Make time for yourself

Many of us become anxious at the thought of multiple events – holiday work parties, family gatherings, catching up with friends – in a short period of time. In order to deal with the stress of being pulled in too many directions, it can be helpful to ensure you have enough down time to yourself. It’s okay to take time to decompress over the holidays and practice self-care.  Sleep in, go for a run, or watch those cheesy holiday movies.

Overall, remember that the holidays are supposed to be a time to celebrate with family and friends. When you find yourself overwhelmed or stressed try to take a minute to refocus on what’s really important about the season.