While TV commercials might paint a pretty picture of the holiday season with everyone happy, relaxed, and perfectly satisfied, in reality, things are a bit more stressed and you may effective ways to eliminate stress. You overindulge in food and drink, you have to rush around the town looking for gifts, and there’s a lot of money being spent on various parties and gatherings. Add a few family fights and strained relationships on top of that, and the holidays might not be as enjoyable as you wanted them to be. However, there’s a way to change that. Christmas and New Year don’t need to be anxiety-ridden and exhausting, find a way to have fun and relax, we’ve got a few ideas for you. For tips on how to make the best of the upcoming months, read on.
MANAGE YOUR FINANCES
Money-related stress can quickly take away any enjoyment from a holiday, and if you don’t want to be fretting about your wallet the whole time, simply do some budgeting in advance. Figure out how much you can spend on gifts, parties, décor, and travelling, and then simply stick to that plan no matter what. Avoid tempting advertising by unsubscribing from newsletters and make a list of things you want to buy before you go shopping. If you enter a store without a proper plan you’re likely to wander around and spend way too much on things you don’t even need.
You can have a discussion with your friends and family and promise not to buy each other exorbitantly priced gifts that none of you can afford—why not introduce a rule that no one is allowed to go over a certain limit? Alternatively, you can always make DIY gifts and decorations to save cash and make sure your present is thoughtful and personal.
PRACTICE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
Self-care is something you should definitely pay more attention to during the holidays. You need an outlet for all that stress, and one of the healthiest ways to deal with it is through meditation and mindfulness. Taking a few moments of quiet to settle down and enjoy peace and self-reflection is like a balm to the soul. You can make the whole experience even more enjoyable by playing some light music, surrounding yourself with lovely scents by diffusing fragrance oils and resting against cosy cushions. This way you’re creating a special, restful atmosphere that will invite positive energy and calm into your life.
If you don’t like meditation, that’s okay—you can still use music and scents to relax as you engage in some form of creative work. For example, adult colouring books or journal writing can be a great choice.
All that extra food and booze tends to make us feel sluggish and tired, and exercise is the only thing that can really help us. It will not only keep us in shape and make sure we don’t end up with ten extra pounds before January is over, but it’ll also relax us and fill us with energy. You don’t even have to go to the gym, simply do short workouts from the comfort of your own home. Besides exercising, you should also push yourself to be more active in general, especially now that you have so much opportunity for it. All of this will make you feel a lot better than sitting around at home.
EAT SLOWLY AND MINDFULLY
If you know you’re going to be attending a lot of parties and family gatherings, try to plan how you’ll tackle those big meals in advance. It’s totally fine to indulge in comfort foods and hearty cooking, as long as you do it in moderation. Eat every meal very slowly, and don’t overfill your plate. You can always take more if you’re still hungry, so there’s really no need to pile a mountain of food in front of you because you’ll only feel obliged to wolf it all down. Eat only until you’re full, and then stop. Also, stock up your own pantry with a lot of veggies and other healthy, low-calorie food that will balance out the overabundance of greasy meals your family tends to make.
PICK YOUR BATTLES
Even if you really adore your family and love spending time with them, sometimes the holidays bring out the worst in people. Your mom will keep complaining about how you never visit, your uncle will get drunk and question your life choices, and some cousin you barely know will keep asking you intrusive questions about your private life. These are all probably good people, but someone might say the wrong thing, you might rub each other the wrong way, and then the whole evening can turn into a full-on battle of guilt-tripping and heated discussions that no one will enjoy.
To avoid this, know when it’s time to step back and disengage, and how to change the subject if you feel like a conversation is draining your energy. If there’s a family member that you actively dislike, avoid them. Sit further apart and be polite to them, but otherwise don’t allow them to get under your skin and ruin your day.
As long as you come prepared, the holidays are still a great time of the year! Focus on the good things and enjoy these festive months because they can be really special and relaxing. Author: Sophia Smith.