Let’s face it, the holidays are fun, magical and… stressful! From the Starbucks red cup controversy to the HUGE lines in stores and at malls, there are a lot of things about the holiday season that can add extra tension to your life. So, instead of getting too worried and worked up, here are ten holiday stress relievers that will help you remain calm, cool and collected:
1. Keep to your routine. Probably the first things that fly out the window during the holiday season are your exercise routine and your healthy eating habits. Try to keep to your most essential “feel good” habits like taking that daily walk or remembering your multi-vitamin. While some things may lose momentum over the holidays (that diet or those hours in the gym), keep doing what makes you feel best.
2. Try to eat real food. You can eat candy and chocolate, but keep eating three meals of real food a day. Working on empty calories will make you feel terrible and make you get stressed out more easily.
3. Do an act of kindness. Practicing daily acts of kindness can actually boost your immune system, lower your heart rate, and give you more energy! So, pay it forward this season.
4. Get outside. It’s ccccold here in Portland! But, it’s not so chilly we can’t get outside and spend some time in nature. Try to get out on a hiking trail, stroll through a park, or work in the garden.
5. Leave some time for yourself. Because this season is all about giving to others, we often forget to give a little something to ourselves. Instead of going to back-to-back holiday parties, take some time out to soak in a hot bath, get some extra sleep, or walk down Peacock Lane.
6. Be grateful. Gratitude can reduce stress. So, instead of focusing on the negative, think about those positive things you are grateful for. Perhaps you are grateful you found a job you enjoy or your family is kind and caring. Also, let people know you are grateful for them! It’s a wonderful way to make someone’s day.
7. Stay on-task. Some people love to write To-Do lists during this time of year because it keeps them focused and on-task. Others hate To-Do lists and work better by calendaring out their week. No matter how you do it, stay on-task and focused so that you can get through anything you dislike about the season and spend more time doing things you enjoy.
8. Delegate. If you are hosting a holiday party or dinner, don’t let all the pressure rest on your shoulders! Ask friends or family members to help or bring dishes. Talk to any children attending your holiday festivities and ask them to help with activities too. Perhaps they can play with the toddler while you put the turkey in the oven. Maybe they can wipe tables or put out the silverware. Even if the help you receive isn’t perfect, allowing others to contribute to your event makes them feel more included and can make your party a low-stress experience.
9. Laugh. Cracking up reduces stress hormones, so go ahead and read a funny comic or watch that adorable dog video on Buzzfeed. Ask your significant other to head out to a funny play or talk to your family about the silliest things they did as kids.
10. Don’t volunteer for everything. Sometimes you just have too much on your plate. Pare down your schedule and make time for fun holiday activities you enjoy. Head on out to Zoolights and miss that holiday party. There’s no need to cram every moment in or rush through the season.
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