5 Ways to Survive the Stress of the Holidays

5 Ways to Survive the Stress of the Holidays

Your goal during the holidays should be to enjoy yourself and your loved ones, but that's practically impossible to do if you're feeling too much stress. Here are some things you can do to prevent that anxiety from spoiling your good times:

1. Pay attention to your health.
Too many projects and activities can stress anyone out, but don't let them keep you from taking care of yourself. Make sure you're getting plenty of sleep, eating properly, and exercising. Combat winter's dry air by taking steamy showers. Dress warmly and appropriately during cold weather. There's nothing like getting sick to take all the fun out of the holiday season.

2. Be prepared.
One of the best ways to prevent added stress is to have a plan in place. If one of your stress triggers is getting out the door on time in the morning, then get your things ready the night before. Don't put off things till the last minute. Make sure you are prepared for anything that comes up, whether that means having ice scrapers in your car or extra wrapped gifts in the hall closet.

3. Take time for yourself.
The holiday season is a great opportunity to start some traditions just for you. Look for classes or events that you've always wanted to try. Take long tranquil, fragrant baths. Create the perfect cup of hot chocolate (hint: add a square of good chocolate to the bottom of the mug first) and browse through old photo albums. Meet up with an old friend. Doing something you enjoy is a good way to pamper yourself and keep those stress levels down.

4. Do something for someone else.
Helping those who are less fortunate can help you put things in perspective. Volunteering for a worthwhile organization or even helping out a neighbor in need can make you feel less anxious. Also volunteering with family or friends is an opportunity for creating some wonderful holiday memories.

5. Be positive.
Bah humbug during the holidays is not going to make you feel better. Think happy thoughts, be charitable and understanding. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, and venting over every little thing is not constructive. Don't be a Grinch—take advantage of all those things that are fun about this time of the year. Wear red. Kiss under the mistletoe. Oooh! and ahhh! over decorations.  Take a family trip to admire the neighborhood Christmas lights gently sparkling against the background of a crisp winter night sky.

Here's wishing you a most joyous and stress-free holiday season!

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