The winter holidays may be a time for family reunions, gift-giving and office parties, but the season is also accompanied by stress. The holiday rush is a perfect recipe for stress: the frenzied dash to buy that perfect present, fighting holiday traffic, and juggling visits to relatives often creates tension and puts a damper on any holiday gathering.
Even worse, this hurried schedule can make us forget the true spirit of the season – a spirit of peace, love and thanksgiving. Here are some helpful tips for getting a handle on the most stressful aspects of the holiday:
—Remember that everything does not have to be perfect. Decide which tasks must be done immediately and which tasks can wait. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to cram too many activities into one day. Sometimes it helps to concentrate on the tasks you have accomplished instead of the ones you haven’t completed.
—Be sure to get enough sleep. Insomnia is your body’s “red flag” that stress may be taking its toll. Remember, having a “nightcap” or an alcoholic beverage before bed does NOT help you sleep, and, in fact, may make the situation worse.
—Exercise. During the holidays, it’s very tempting to let your exercise routine fall by the wayside, but often, it is during this busy time of year when exercise becomes even more important. Exercise reduces stress and elevates your mood. If you haven’t started a regular exercise routine, please speak with one of us. We’ll be happy to help you create a fitness plan.
— Learn and implement relaxation techniques. Some find relief from activities such as yoga, tai chi or meditation.
If you find that stress has become overwhelming, you may need to speak with a physician or counselor. Remember: chronic stress can cause several health problems such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and a compromised immune system.