The Best Holiday Stress Relievers

When it comes to the holidays, additional stress can cause many people to feel less than festive. Holiday stress can cause you to feel anxious, frantic, depressed, and overwhelmed. It is hard to enjoy the season to the fullest when you’re struggling to hold it together. However, you can start right now to turn your stress around and have a more pleasant season. All it takes is some coping skills and awareness of some helpful holiday stress relievers:

Give to yourself. Take breaks and do things that will destress you. Spend an hour to spend in a quiet coffee shop, take time to journal, or give yourself an evening going through holiday photos or cards from years past. These kinds of activities give your mind a break and can even lead to inspiration for gifts.

Plan ahead. If possible, look at your calendar and make a plan. Even if it’s later in the season, you can still plan for things like shopping trips—and relaxing nights at home. If you have a tendency to do too much, plan for an evening at home and stick to it! Striking a balance between getting things done and recharging your batteries will keep you healthier and happier.

Prepare for family gatherings. If you have family coming from out of town or are traveling, do some mental preparation. Think about the most positive qualities of the people you are about to see. Try to deal with difficult emotions before the gathering and get them out of your system.

Don’t shop until you drop. Marathon shopping trips and overspending are common during the holidays, but you don’t have to buy gifts this way. Careful planning and buying just a few things at a time can help save your sanity.

Get help. If you usually sit down and write all the holiday cards yourself or bake all the cookies on your own, ask for help. Get the family involved. The ability to delegate can give you a break when you need it most. If you don’t have anyone to help, don’t pressure yourself into doing everything perfectly. Most people won’t notice if you write a quick note on a card or don’t get baked goods this season—remember it’s the thought that counts the most!

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