December has arrived! The holiday music is on and the challenges of hanging lights and keeping toddlers (and house cats) away from trees has begun. Of course, it does not help that events throughout the year have also compounded (and upended) much of the plans and stressors that can come with this time of year.
What is there to do about it?
According to experts, there are several things that we can do to help manage the holidays and minimize the stress.
- Plan Ahead & Make Lists
By taking time to list out the “who”, “what” and “why” of your holiday ideas, it is a lot easier to have a sense of focus and perspective. Making lists is a great way to prioritize, delegate and watch the completion of your tasks to satisfaction. Doing this also allows us to be focused on the present which can help minimize feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- Pay Attention to Your Body
Be sure to always pay attention to your hydration and nourishment. We have all been “too busy to eat”, only to realize our fate because the mind power has begun to fade as a result. Listen to your body and when it tells you it is time to eat and rest. Hydration and nutrition are foundational building blocks which can help our mind manage it all. Plus, they are great for keeping the immune system up when cooler temps and changing weather patterns can be rough on our bodies.
Split up those lists with family members who can help and let them do it. Acknowledge if you have any feelings of burnout and do not be afraid to reach out to a friend or family member for assistance. Many therapeutic professionals also offer virtual options, too. Trying to do it all, carry it all, fix it all doesn’t always work out as we hope. Go easy on yourself.
If anything, this year has shown many of us that it is important to focus on what is truly meaningful to us. Do not be afraid to create a new set of traditions or create a unique spin on some activities of the previous years. Allowing ourselves the freedom to be flexible is one of the greatest ways that we can help ourselves manage the challenges (and changes) of this holiday season.
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