Life gets busier and busier. These days, we have more on our plates than ever before…. with no end in sight. There are those extra tasks at work, a daily commute, endless responsibilities at home, and a bustling social life. No wonder stress is such a common issue. (One third of men and women in North America live with extreme stress on a regular basis.) It only gets worse as the holiday season approaches. Suddenly there is even more to get done. Not to mention all the pressure to make things perfect! Stop living with stress. These tips will help you relax this holiday season.
Take Time For Yourself. Your to do list keeps getting longer. That makes enjoyable activities seem like a total impossibility. Instead of treating yourself to a spa day, reading a good book, or having lunch with an old friend, you decide to focus on the tasks at hand. Like holiday shopping, looking up recipes online, booking airline tickets, and organizing family get-togethers. Give or take a few dozen other things you have to do. Well guess what? Putting yourself last can be a costly mistake. You are more likely to wind up sick, stressed, and downright miserable. So do what you can to make yourself a priority this holiday season. Even a half hour a day can make a difference.
Have Realistic Expectations. The dangerous thing about this time of year? We often set the bar too high. Suddenly everything has to be perfect and absolutely everything has to get done. This is simply not realistic. Life is unlikely to feel like a TV special –with fresh baked cookies, smiling faces, and a perfectly decorated home. And it doesn’t have to! Focus on the most important thing the holiday season has to offer: spending time with the people you love. The rest of the details will fall into place. Especially once you stop demanding perfection and start appreciating the little things.
Try To Avoid Overbooking. When it comes to the holiday season, the word no is rarely used. Work party? Sure! Celebratory dinner? Of course! The list goes on and on. This is the time of year when people get together to catch up and celebrate the season. That is a pretty amazing thing. Except when your schedule is so jam-packed that is starts to stress you out. The solution is to avoid overbooking this year. Don’t be afraid to say no if you have already committed to too many plans. The last thing you want is to stretch yourself too thin. Try to prioritize as much as possible or schedule get-togethers after the holiday season (January or February).
Give Yourself More Time Than You Think You Need. Time management is a skill. One that comes naturally to some and reluctantly to others. Want to keep your stress levels down this season? Then focus on time management as much as possible. How? Always allow more time than you actually need. Say for instance you think it will take you a couple of hours to wrap allof those Christmas presents you bought. Schedule the entire afternoon for the task. That way if it takes you longer you will not be stressing. If you get it done earlier? The rest of your day is free and clear to spend on yourself. Not a bad way to reduce stress and complete your holiday to-do list.
The holiday season is supposed to be enjoyable. Yet somehow it has become seriously stressful. Not this year. Put these stress-reducing tips to the test. Not only will you get everything done on your list…but you will feel calm, relaxed, and happy.