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Managing Stress in the Holiday Season

The holidays can be a challenging time for many reasons, from busy social calendars to financial stresses from gift-giving.  But when it comes right down to it, it's all about our own choices, isn't it?  Decide on some reasonable limits for your life, personal health, and wellness, and stick to them.  The holidays are a time to enjoy family and friends, not to overwhelm ourselves and create problems we resolve to fix next year.

For financial health

  • Suggest some limits, such as choosing names for exchanging gifts or agreeing on dollar limits
  • Choose some charities you and your loved ones feel strongly about, and give gifts in their names in an amount that is feasible for you.  Most people feel good about being able to support worthwhile groups doing amazing work in the world!

For physical health

  • You needn't go to the fitness club every day to be active.  Sneak in a little extra physical activity where you can!  Every little bit counts: every flight of stairs, 5-minute walk, or 10 minutes of yoga.  It will help to balance out the extra bites and treats that are everywhere in the holiday season!
  • Limit treats.  This is a tough one, but if you eat balanced meals and bring healthy snacks with you, then you will not be so tempted by every treat danged before you.  When you do choose to partake, try taking a smaller portion and don't "pig out" on rich holiday food.

For mental health

  • Schedule yourself some down time to relax and do nothing;
  • Plan some supportive care, like massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture.  You'd be surprised how much these approaches can help you calm down and relax;
  • Make sure your choices in the holiday season are congruent with your values.  If you are choosing to eat foods that aren't good for you, spend money you don't really have, or you fail to take the time you need for good self-care, this disharmony will take a toll on your overall health and well-being, and you will be out of balance.

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