The holidays are a time of togetherness, giving, and cheer. Most look forward to this joyous time, but we can also encounter the hardships of stress and guilt that come along with it. It is important to recognize these triggers to avoid or redirect them altogether. Brighten up your holidays by following these simple tips:
1. Don’t ditch your healthy habits
It’s easy to fall off the dieting wagon and abandon our established healthy habits during the holidays. All too often we overindulge on the pumpkin pie and have a second, or third, helping of Grandma’s famous dressing. However, overindulgence can lead to stress, guilt, and can be bad for our health. Remember, it’s okay to enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, but enjoy them in moderation and be mindful of portion control.
2. Set and stick to a budget
When you sit down to plan your holiday gift list, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed with the financial burden of gift giving. It’s important to remember that the holidays should not financially drain you and it’s okay to set limits on what you spend on gifts. If you have a large family or a long list of gifts, suggest a white elephant gift exchange, drawing names to buy presents, or donating to charity. This will limit your expenses and the number of people you have to shop for.
3. Spend time together
The holidays are a great time to break out old family traditions and reminisce on pastimes. Find time to play board games with your family, put together a puzzle by the fireplace, or enjoy a hot cup of cocoa while catching up with an old friend. These are great ways to slow down, laugh a little, de-stress, and appreciate the little joys that come with the holiday season.
4. Take a breather
Although spending time with your family and friends can help reduce stress, it can also lead to more in some settings. It’s important to carve out time for yourself to enjoy some peace and quiet as this can provide tremendous health benefits. Find an activity that will help you reduce your stress and clear your mind, such as listening to your favorite music, reading a book, or taking a walk around the neighborhood.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Setting certain expectations can take a toll on your well-being, especially if these expectations are too high or are not necessarily realistic. It’s okay if your turkey came out a little dry or you couldn’t gather all your family together at the same time. As families grow, traditions change and each holiday season will be a little different from the last. Always remember to approach the holiday season with an open mind and a desire to make new and lasting memories. The holidays don’t have to be perfect, but we can appreciate what we have and enjoy the time we have with our loved ones.