How to combat holiday pressures

That festive time around the Holiday season is mostly great fun. Visiting loved ones, listening to holiday music, snowball fights…all bring back fond memories.Yet, with a tight to-do list already at the brim, adding the Christmas chores can send it over the edge. Can, but won’t. We’ve got your back.

Calm your mind for a moment. Those racing thoughts aren’t getting anything done. So, let’s dive into the real reason you’re feeling the Christmas crunch…

 

What causes Holiday pressure?

The Holiday season is “the most magical time of the year.” Supposedly. So why does it come with unwanted stress and pressure that we all feel?

Months before, you may look ahead lovingly. But as December comes around, anticipation can turn to worries as you try to do it all.

Gift shopping looks so lovely in movies. The window displays, finding just the right gift, and evenings spent wrapping. But in reality, it can be messy. The toy of the season is impossible to track down, you have no idea what to get your Mother-In-Law, and you’re running out of time. It happens every year.

Then comes financial stress. No matter how hard you try to budget, the cost of the Holidays creep up. And as much you try to be good, it’s easy to indulge in your favorite seasonal desserts, then feel lethargic because of it. Add to that an unfortunate case of the flu, and that magical feeling of the Holidays starts to dissipate.

Sound familiar?

 

How can Holiday pressure affect your wellbeing?

On the surface, the strain seems superficial. You might experience it every year, so what makes this one so special? The problem is, we’re so used to stress - it feels normal.

The time pressures, financial worries, and social expectations are overwhelming, and it’s all too simple to turn a blind eye to them during the Holiday period. Yet, living in a constant state of tension, even for a short time, can be difficult to deal with.

Just a small amount of stress can create an anxious state of mind. The seasonal responsibilities can take their toll as changes to your daily routine can send your mind and body out of sync and affect the immune system. And that’s how sickness sneaks in.

Combined with overindulgence and a lack of exercise, you can feel fatigued for days.

But the good news is that it’s conquerable with self-care.

 

Life hacks to combat Holiday pressure

When tension threatens to spoil the fun, let a few life hacks save the day. A little bit of planning always pays off. Scheduling your to-dos and delegation helps here.

Don’t deal with everything alone. Give each family member something to do. Wrapping, shopping, helping cooking. Even the kids can help – arts and crafts create the best Holiday decorations.

Slow down. Give yourself enough time to make the tasks fun again and feel like less of a chore.

Then take a break. Try five minutes of meditation or a breathing exercise. Squeeze in a yoga class, or a bit of mindfulness at home. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Social demands can really put the pressure on. But laughing with friends and enjoying family time can drastically drop your stress levels. Indulge in your interests too. Read, write, get out in the fresh winter air.

And for the ultimate mood booster, harness a healthy balance. Healthy eating is important. Team it with exercise to sweat your worries away. Walk, swim, dance, or try strength training.

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s the selfless act that saves your sanity and keeps you calm ahead of a busy but blessed festive season.

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