Ah, the holidays. The season known as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” can often be the most STRESSFUL time of the year. Crowded stores, frequent holiday parties, less daylight and tempting treats all crammed into a few short weeks. It’s bound to drive even the most relaxed people a little insane. However, setting a few simple goals and staying on track with your normal routine can help curb that stress so you can enjoy everything the holidays have to offer.
Here are 5 tips to help you cope with the holiday stress so you can start off the New Year with a bang!
Start thinking about the holidays early. If you are hosting a party, start planning out your menu a few weeks ahead of time. To avoid the store crowds, make a list of your loved ones you need to buy for well in advance and plan to find their favorite items online. The packed malls in December are enough to drive anyone insane!
There are things that we MUST do during the holidays and things we WANT to do. Often it can be hard to differentiate between the two. By prioritizing what needs to get done, you can finish those important tasks first, like buying a gift for your Grandmother. The you have time left over to do some of those things you want to do, like volunteering at a soup kitchen.
When all of these holiday obligations begin to pile up, exercise can often be the first thing to take a back seat. Make this one of your priorities! Not only can exercise burn off extra calories so you can enjoy those gingerbread men, but it also boosts your endorphins to help get you in the holiday spirit. You can even get creative with your exercise, like adding squats in as you decorate your tree!
Like exercise, sleep is another one of those things that is less of a priority when we are busy. Skipping an hour or two of sleep to get a few extra things done over the holidays can actually do more harm than good. It can affect your metabolism and actually increase your stress level all on its own. Make a point to keep up with 7 to 8 hours of good sleep a night.
Yes, indulge! Trying to stay away from that plate of holiday cookies or that pitcher of eggnog can be very stressful and often lead to overeating of seemingly healthier options. Allow yourself to indulge a bit this time of year and enjoy the time with your friends and family. You don’t have to go overboard, but a small slice of pumpkin pie or a helping of those buttery mashed potatoes is sure to put a smile on your face and take some of that holiday stress away.