6 secrets to a stress-free holiday season

stress1We are smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season now. The party invitations and obligations are piling up. The next thing you know, you’re not feeling the season of love. You’re flooded with stress and feelings of being overwhelmed, and catch yourself saying things such as “I just can’t wait for this to be over.”

Many people look forward to this season all year, only to end up just shy of a mental breakdown from the added stress. The holiday season should be a time of giving and togetherness, but there is a limit. Here are some tips to help you make it through the holidays stress free:

Dial it back. It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the Christmas season. As you look at your calendar, you realize you’re booked every weekend until the New Year. All you want is a break — some time to chill out and celebrate the season. Our advice? Take a time out. Cancel some of your engagements and spend some time reveling in the lights of your Christmas tree. Unloading your social calendar will help to reduce the stress during the holiday season. 

Listen to Christmas music. Turning on some Christmas tunes — especially Christmas carols — can help relax you. A 2009 study showed that Christmas carols helped decrease heart patients’ blood pressure, anxiety and heart rate. So go ahead and turn up the Christmas music, it’ll do your stress levels some good!

Send cards. Being separated from family and close friends during the holidays can be difficult. Stay connected with them by sending them a card commemorating the season. Instead of simply signing your name, include a letter, photo or both to let loved ones know about what’s going on in your life.

Save time for sleep. As your calendar fills up with holiday to-dos, don’t forget to schedule some time for sleep. Many jokingly say they can sleep after the holidays, but a lack of sleep can increase your stress levels.

Spend time with family. Take time for your family — even if that means canceling some social engagements. Spending time with family is the most important part of the holiday season. Take time to decorate cookies, sit by the fireplace, watch some movies, play a game or go caroling together. Family time can be the breath of fresh air you need to de-stress.

Enjoy the season. The most important thing to remember during the holiday season is to simply enjoy it. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed and stressed, take a step back and think of all the things for which you are thankful. Revel in the fact that you are able to spend time with family and friends this season.

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