I have to admit i’m not a big fan of the continuous christmas carols, crowded shopping centers or the pressures to prepare holiday meals for people. Call me the grinch, but the holiday season for many can be a time of relentless stress and anxiety rather then a festive experience. But a few things have helped me and many others I work with stop the feelings of being overwhelmed that can lead to excess panic and anxiety, here they are:
1) Treat Yourself FIRST – planning is key here but the idea is to set certain times aside for yourself only for some much deserved rest and relaxation, starting your gift-giving with yourself is also a great way to start your shopping experience on the right foot I mean who’s more important than you right?
2) Remember What’s Actually Important – Spending time together with family (unless step #8 is the case) and people you care for come first, reflecting on your life and future goals are all what the holiday experience should be about everything else is secondary.
3) Get Help – If you’re planning a big shindig at your place don’t feel ashamed of asking for help. Getting family and friends together for the holiday preparations will keep any added stress and anxiety far away.
4) Move That Body – Exercise, exercise, exercise. The secret to getting ahead, is first getting started so what better time to start your exercise routine then during the holiday season!
5) Drink The Right Stuff – For many people alcohol and the holiday season go hand in hand. ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ is an over-indulgence of alcohol during the holiday season so if you are going to throw a few back, maybe mix it with some coconut water? Mmm.
7) Create A Budget – Would you agree that this one is one of the biggest contributors to holiday stress and anxiety? Gifts, eating out, shows, traveling and holiday activities can quickly leave your bank account plummeting BUT, if you plan ahead and set a budget of what you can spend beforehand you’ll be grateful you did in the end.
8) If You Don’t Like Your Family, Don’t Spend Time With Them – But it’s tradition you say? I counter that by saying to hell with tradition! Find some kind of tradition that adds purpose to your life, the last thing you need during the holiday season is to spend that time with people who are just going to add to your stress and anxiety further even if it is your family.
Spending weeks if not months trying to find that perfect gift for someone is well… stupid, and a waste of time. Getting back to the basics and simplifying things during the holiday season will keep stress and anxiety at a distance.