4 Effective Ways to Deal With Holiday Stress

While the holidays are typically filled with fun and cheer, they also tend to bring a fair amount of stress with them. Your financial obligations increase so much that you can almost hear your wallet cry and your schedule becomes so busy that you often feel like you’re spinning in circles. While there isn’t anything you can do to stop the holidays from coming (we know, we’ve tried), there are things you can do to deal with the stress in a way that helps you come out on top versus feeling like you’ve hit bottom – and been run over while you’re there. The Effects of Stress When you undergo stress for extended periods of time (such as during the long holiday season), it can affect you in a number of ways. Physically, it wears you down and makes each day a struggle due to your lagging energy supply and extremely busy schedule. Mentally, it lessens your patience, leaves you struggling to deal with even minor issues and opens the door to negative thoughts and feelings. In addition, your immune system takes a huge hit. You may have a difficult time fighting off whatever bug is going around, making it even harder to get through this time of year when all you want to do is lie in bed and drink chicken noodle soup. However, all of these effects don’t have to come hand in hand with holidays. They don’t have to and they shouldn’t. This should be a celebratory time of year that makes you happy, not wishing the days would pass so you can just get past them. Effective Ways to Combat Holiday Stress So, how do you combat holiday stress when you have seemingly no control over your circumstances when your lengthy list of obligations still exist? Luckily, there are several options that will give you some much needed relief. Here are just four of them:Get physically active. Yes, it can be more difficult around the holidays to fit in physical activity when you’re also trying to make sure the shopping is done, house is decorated and parties are attended, but this is also when it is most important to do so. Most holiday obligations revolve around doing things for other people and here is an opportunity to do something just for you.
  In addition, getting in a heart pumping workout may be just what you need to forget about your to-do list for a moment and release the stress that you feel within your body. Schedule 30 minutes a day just for you and your exercise routine and you’ll find much more energy to deal with all of the extras that are headed your way.Focus on the positives. Instead of spending the holiday season focused on the things you don’t like about it, concentrate on the things that you do. Maybe it is the only time of year you get to see your favorite aunt or you enjoy seeing the twinkling lights that most people decorate their yard with.
  Point out the things that make you smile and choose to let everything else go. In fact, if you start doing this early enough, you’ll notice that things won’t get as stressful as they did in years past.Build in pleasurable activities. Even though there may be things you have to do around the holidays that don’t particularly thrill you, that doesn’t mean that you have to dread everything you need to do. When you schedule fun activities into the holidays, you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy yourself in a way that relieves you of the stress you feel and makes the days look that much brighter.
  Set aside a night with your pals or take up a new activity that you’ve been meaning to try. Both are a great distractor for all of the chaos around you, which can lower your stress levels easily and effectively.Watch your diet. Holidays generally involve greater exposure to not-so-good-for-you foods, and lots of them. It’s easy to overindulge, which not only leaves you feeling bad physically (think sugar highs and lows), but mentally too. Your love for the holidays can be easily overridden by the guilt and shame you feel for all of the extra calories you consume – creating stress over your expanding waistline.
  Certainly, telling yourself that you won’t eat anything “bad” is an option, but one that usually doesn’t work. Instead, aim to watch your portions instead and don’t get so caught up in being perfect with your diet. As long as you make good choices most of the time, one or two indulgences isn’t going to derail your efforts to be healthy. Using the SlimPlate System food portion control plates is one way to help you survive the holidays while keeping your stress, and waistline, intact. Deal with holiday stress effectively and this time of year becomes something to look forward to versus something to dread. Imagine that: A holiday that you actually welcome with open arms. Wouldn’t that be a breath of fresh air?