I don’t know about you, but the fact that we’re half way through December and Christmas is less than a week away has my stress levels higher than normal. It seems like there’s so much to do and so little time to do it!
The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for many people for so many reasons. So how do you maintain your calm (and sanity!) this time of year while still making your list and checking it twice? Scroll down for my top tips to keep stress at bay so that you can get through the holiday season without reversing all of the progress you’ve made this year. Because no one wants to feel like they’re back at square one when the New Year starts!
Focus on eating healthy as often as possible.
The holiday season (Thanksgiving through the New Year) is the most food-laden season ever. Between your mom’s lasagna, your grandma’s famous cookies, the endless hot cocoa (and occasional holiday cocktail), it can feel like system overload when it comes to food—and maintaining any semblance of a healthy diet can seem like a Herculean challenge.
My recommendation? Rather than stressing yourself out trying to stick to a “perfect” diet when surrounded by every holiday indulgence known to man, find a middle ground. After all, moderation is always key and only you know what makes your body feel best. So if you want to have one of your grandma’s famous cookies, I say rock on.
Don’t stress over gift giving.
Trying to think of the “perfect” gift for everyone on your list, then fighting your way through crowds of people to actually purchase said gift can be very stressful. Opt for a simpler option and give the gift of quality time spent with you. Plan a dinner out with your parents, a spa day with your girlfriends, or a trip to the zoo or movies with your niece and nephew. Remember, the perfect gift that will never go out of style is time with you. Nothing material will ever compare to or replace that.
Learn to say no.
With a different happy hour, holiday party, or cookie swap every night of the week, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of the season, say yes to all the things (because they’re all fun!) and ending up feeling burnt out before the holidays even arrive.
My recommendation? Learn to say no. Some people may be disappointed to hear that you’re not able to celebrate this wonderful time of year with them, but most people will understand that we all need time to ourselves to decompress and recharge.
Take time for yourself.
Taking time for yourself, also known as self-care, should be a daily practice. It sounds like an easy enough concept, but it’s something that is often overlooked especially during the busy holiday season when most of us feel like we’re being pulled in multiple directions at once. The trick to making sure self-care actually happens is to schedule it as a standing appointment that you have with yourself. Self-care looks different for everyone, but it could be as simple as sitting down with a good book for 30 minutes, listening to music that you enjoy, or pampering yourself (manicure anyone?!). Make sure to take some time for yourself this holiday season – I promise you’ll thank me.