Experience More Joy, Less Stress This Holiday Season

The holidays are an interesting time. They can be a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation. They can also be a bit stressful and hectic. Holiday get-togethers tend to be loud and crowded. Add in the current Covid-19 crisis and the holidays just got even more complicated. Holidays can also be expensive. The cost of gifts, travel, and extra food can really add up in a hurry.

So how can you experience more joy and less stress this season? Try these holiday stress busters:

1. Take breaks.

Sometimes, a little family can go a long way. Family get-togethers can be wonderful, but they can also be tiring. There’s no shame in taking a break and going for a walk, heading to the store, or finding a quiet place in the house to rest and recharge.

2. Get some sun.

The days are shorter in the northern hemisphere during the winter months. Many people are sensitive to not getting enough sunlight. Sit by a window with good sun exposure and get all the sunlight you can for an hour each day. You’ll feel less stressed. Use the time to read a book or make phone calls. Alternatively, if it isn’t too cold, try to get outside and go for a walk in the sunshine and get some fresh air.

3. Eat well.

With all the cookies, pies, candy, and other unhealthy foods so prevalent this time of year, it’s even more important to focus on your diet than usual. Eating a lot of junk food leads to a stressed body. Be kind to yourself and eat as healthy as possible. If you have children, make sure they have healthy food choices as well. If you include them in the meal preparation they will be more likely to eat the meal.

4. Choose happiness.

Decide to enjoy the holidays as much as you can. Choose to be optimistic. Your attitude colors your perception. Expect good things to happen and you’ll be more likely to enjoy yourself.

5. Expect some chaos, too.

The holidays bring chaos. Winter weather, loads of traffic, travel, crowds, and more people than you’re used to dealing with in your home all add up. Expect that nothing will go as planned and decide to enjoy the holidays anyway. If you anticipate that things might become really chaotic, then chances are, it will turn out better than you imagine.

6. Avoid overscheduling.

Trying to do too much can create stress regardless of the time of year. Therefore, plan to see the people that are most important to you and skip the rest. Attend the parties that are most important to you. Strive for quality over quantity.

7. Feel grateful.

It’s easier to relax and enjoy yourself when you feel grateful. You worry less about the mishaps, inconveniences, and perceived slights when gratitude is in your heart. Remember, you have a lot to be grateful for!

8. Stay within budget.

The holidays are stressful enough without creating more stress by overspending. Avoid the trap of believing that you have to spend a lot of money to make someone happy. Gifts are soon forgotten, but the bills can last a really long time.

Enjoying the holidays means making a game plan to reduce the stress and increase the joy.  With careful planning and a big dose of optimism, you can have a great holiday season that you’ll remember fondly for years to come. Make this holiday season the most inspiring you’ve ever had.

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