The holidays are intended to be a joyous time spent with friends and family. But for many Americans, the holiday season can actually be a very stressful time of year. For instance, holiday shopping and trying to fight those awful crowds. The constant pressure of meeting expectations of friends and family. Putting up with those not-so-nice in-laws…you can understand why the holidays may not be the most wonderful time of year for many people.
This holiday season, it’s important for us to learn to how to relax and enjoy the holidays. We can do this by focusing on ways to reduce our stress rather than encourage it. That being said, here are five ways to better relax this holiday season:
Follow a strict budget
Too often we want to go beyond our means to impress those we love with lavish gifts. Rather than exhausting our bank accounts or racking up our credit cards, try to stick to a strict budget. Purchase gifts that come from the heart rather than the wallet. After all, isn’t it the thought that counts most at Christmas time?
The holiday season can bring out the social drinker in all of us. However, with excess drinking can come stress and anxiety. it’s normal to feel anxious or nervous in social settings like holiday parties. However, try to limit the number of drinks you have in an evening. This will allow you to make more responsible decisions throughout the holiday season.
Extra travel time
Traveling during the holidays can be a nightmare—just ask the McCallister family who left poor Kevin at the airport right before Christmas. Airports, train stations and buses are all crowded with eager folks trying to make it home for the holidays. Rather than fighting the herds of people, give yourself plenty of extra time to get to and from places you have to go.
Make time to exercise
Exercise is a proven stress reducer. The holidays may be the busiest time of year, but it’s important to take at least 20 minutes a day to exercise. This will give you the opportunity to recharge your batteries and de-stress from holiday pressures. Don’t have time to hit the gym? Go for an evening stroll. Exercising also helps to combat those extra calories typically indulged during holiday meals.
The holidays can become stressful due to family differences, work obligations and relationship woes. This year, take advantage of the holiday season by reflecting on all the good things in your life. Do this by being thankful for the things you have rather than what you do not have. The best gift of all is the one we get to share with our loved ones.
Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to enjoying the holiday season. After all, the holidays should be the most wonderful time of year. So, before you begin to feel stressed or overextend yourself, take a minute to remember what the holidays are truly all about: spending quality time with those we love most.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Maya Richards is a freelance writer who loves everything about Christmas. Her favorite inspirational gifts are charm bracelets and yoga inspired jewelry.