While the holidays can be a joyous time, many of us know that they can be stressful for many. Shopping, crowds, travel, and back-to-back social obligations can bring unanticipated strain into even the happiest home. So, if this oh-so-wonderful time leaves you feeling less than wonderful, here are five Spiffy-approved ways to reduce your burden and bring on the Christmas cheer.
1. Get Moving
If you’re anything like me, someone telling you that exercise will solve your problems is enough to make you want to stuff them down the chimney. Well, the reason people say it is because it’s true. According to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, physical activity is beneficial for reducing stress. Add in some much-needed sunshine during the short period of daylight, and you’re bound to feel even just a little bit more optimistic. Even if a weekend hike or an after-work Zumba class aren’t in the cards for you, something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk on your lunch break can help decrease tension and help you greet the holiday season with a more optimistic attitude.
2. Eat Real Food
The beginning of the Christmas season can mean an influx of sweets into most homes and offices. It seems that everywhere you go, you’ll be tempted by the siren’s song of sugary, buttery treats. Don’t resist entirely. After all, everyone deserves an indulgence here and there. But make sure you’re opting for healthy food most of the time so you can be your happiest, most energetic self. Want to partake in your Grandma’s famous pimento cheese? Go for it, and load up with plenty of fruits, veggies, lean proteins and water as well. And remember not to overparticipate in drinking to cope with stress. It’s impossible to feel jolly when you’re nursing a hangover.
3. Don’t Go It Alone
Having the best Christmas takes team effort. Make sure your spouse, kids, roommates, coworkers, or whomever your spending the holiday with are pulling their weight if they are able. Try not to focus on perfection. (Will Christmas be ruined if you make two types of cookies instead of four? I doubt it.) Take some sage advice from Life Coach, Cheryl Richard and prepare a “Nice to Do” and an “Absolute Must” list to prioritize things you must get done vs. optional things. A clean car will likely be a “must.” To bear the commute to the in-law’s, make sure you book your Spiffy ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about an oil change or arriving in a #SpiffyClean car.
4. Stick to a Routine
Try not to let Christmas craziness disrupt your routine more than necessary. You can still make time for your date night, yoga class, book club, Game of Thrones, or whatever it is that keeps you sane. Remember that Christmas may come but once a year, but it will indeed happen every year. Don’t try to squeeze in more holiday cheer than you can handle. Practice plenty of self care so you can give the gift of your time to others without resentment.
5. Plan Something to Look Forward To
It’s easy to get tunnel vision as Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year approaches. The buzz of activity can make it feel impossible not to be heads-down on preparation and planning. Without overwhelming yourself further, try to plan something simple and enjoyable for after the holiday to motivate you. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, dinner out with friends, a trip to the spa, or a special family outing, having something on the horizon can keep your spirit up when you start to feel burdened.
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