Enjoy a more stress-free holiday with these tips.
The holiday season leaves many people feeling like they’re busier than they’d like to be. But even if you’ve got a lot on your plate at this time of the year, don’t let that lengthening to-do list lead to stress or you may negatively affect your heart and overall health.
Helpful Hints for the Holidays
Here are 7 ways to manage holiday stress:
1 Get organized. Take some time up front to plan all the things you need to do, prioritizing your to-do list. This can save you time overall while also keeping stress levels in check.
2 Prioritize sleep. When you’re busy, it’s easy to skimp on sleep to get in everything you have to do. But too little sleep can leave you less prepared to deal with the demands being placed on you. Remind yourself that you need your sleep (adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night) to operate at peak efficiency.
3 Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great stress reliever and is also good for your health in other ways. Physical activity can leave you feeling relaxed and energized. So even if you’re tired or overwhelmed, try to fit in some physical activity. Even 10 minutes at a time helps.
4 Eat and drink sensibly. Many people deal with stress by turning to food and/or alcohol. But these only add to the problem. Instead, try to stick to a healthy eating plan as much as possible. When you indulge, do so in moderation and for enjoyment rather than stress relief.
5 Relax. Take a few minutes each day, no matter how busy you may be, to relax. Take a walk, read a book, close your eyes, listen to music, watch a funny movie or color. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization and meditation are some relaxation methods you can try.
6 Let things slide. There’s no reason to fret needlessly over things you can’t control. Learn to take a deep breath and keep things in perspective. Concentrate on what’s important and let go of the other stuff.
7 Laugh. Focus on the joy of the season and the things that make you smile. After all, that’s what the holidays are all about. As an added bonus, laughter is a great stress reliever.
Stress can have a serious influence on your overall health and well-being. If you feel that these coping techniques are not helping, please consider reaching out to your primary physician to discuss resources available.