When did the holidays become so stressful? When we were kids, holidays were all about fun. Whether it was decorating the tree, making cookies, and waiting for Santa, or lighting candles, eating latkes, and opening presents over 8 nights, or visiting with family and friends, it was all fun. As adults, holidays have turned into a stress fest, as we figure out what to get grandma, how many teacher’s gifts we need to buy, is so and so going to give me a gift this year and what should I get them, turkey or ham, who’s family will we spend what day with, how much weight am I going to gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and the list goes on and on.
It’s time to make a promise to yourself for this year, to make the holidays less stressful. I know, you are saying that is easier said than done, but I’m here to tell you it can be done. Believe me I know, as this is coming from the person that could spend way too much time in the wrapping paper aisle trying to pick out the perfect bow! Here are some tips to make your holiday less about stress and more about fun:
· Remove the word “perfect” from your mind. Do not strive for the “perfect” gift, the “perfect” meal, the “perfect” decorations, etc. Most of us do not live the life depicted in a Hallmark movie and we should not expect our holidays to be like that either.
· There is nothing worse than walking aimlessly through the mall trying to buy gifts when you have no idea what to get. It is both mentally and physically exhausting. A more relaxing thing to do and a better use of your time is to grab your favorite holiday beverage, look through some catalogs or magazines, or spend some time online and do your “window” shopping that way. Much less stressful and tiring, and no parking space needed!
· No excuses! During stressful and busy times, getting some type of exercise is very important and a great stress reliever. Don’t make excuses that you are too busy to do your usual workout, whether it is the gym, walking, or yoga, keep those commitments to yourself.
· Keep your healthy eating habits. Yes, tis the season for sweet treats and overeating, but try to keep to healthy meals as much as possible and do not skip meals. It’s ok to indulge, but if you balance the indulgences with healthier choices, you will have the needed fuel and energy to get through the season.
· Breathe! Anyone who knows me knows I am all about breathing. When someone is stressed; my advice is to take a deep breath. Try it, it really works. And no I am not talking about a deep breath in which the only thing that moves are your shoulders. (by the way that is not a deep breath) I’m talking about the deep belly breath. Take a few of those; it is a quick way to relax your body and your mind.
· Look ahead to the New Year. What plans do you have come January? Taking time for you? Scheduling a spa day? Taking a new exercise class? Knowing you have some “me” time planned will help you get through the next few hectic weeks.
· Most importantly - nobody will care if the wrapping is not perfect and the turkey came out dry. The only thing they will remember is the fun times and memories that were made. So don't worry about dropping the ham on the way to the table, it will make for good laughs and memories for years to come!
Wishing you a Happy, Fun, and Stress Free Holiday Season!
Here 2 Health You!