Not feeling the “comfort and joy” this holiday season? For many people, the holidays bring an increased sense of family responsibility and additional feelings of stress rather than the endless joy portrayed in media and on social networks. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re doing more work than enjoyment with all the travel, family gatherings and long to-do lists. Here are a few mindful, healthy techniques you can use to help minimize holiday stress:
- Know your limits. You can’t do it all. If going to another ugly sweater party or baking another batch of gingerbread cookies makes you want to cringe, you may be stretching your schedule too thin. Saying “yes” when you should say “no” can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
- Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. Or, the key to lifting your spirits may be offering to help others and volunteering your time. As long as you remember the previous tip – know your limits.
- Set aside differences. It may be difficult to forget how that family member or friend wronged you last year, but try to set aside past matters for a later time, or practice forgiveness. Keep in mind that people tend to slip up when tensions rise during the holidays or when plans don’t go according to schedule.
- Self-care. Constant stress can lead to greater health problems, both emotionally and physically. Prioritize your needs and feelings with a few minutes of self-care a day, which can include things like exercising, listening to music, sipping a cup of tea or reading a book.
- Plan ahead and set a budget. If you don’t schedule time for shopping, visiting and cooking, you’ll more than likely be scrambling last-minute to make a grocery run. Also, know how much your budget can handle and stick to it for food and gifts.
With a little planning and positive thinking, you can find joy during the holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the OneSource team!