Weekly Wellness: Stress and The Holidays
COLUMBIA- If life were a Hallmark holiday movie, we would all be happy and joyous in a perfectly-decorated home with a perfectly-decorated tree with a beautiful fire in fireplace and carolers at the front door. For me, it’s soooooo not like this. The holidays (no matter if or what you celebrate) can create stress out of nowhere. Parties, shopping, cleaning, baking, cooking, AHHHH.
When I was preparing the segment for this week, I asked my husband “what’s a good topic to discuss for this week?” and he said “how about taking a break?” I said, “what do you mean?” He said, “Everyone seems to be running crazy the week of holidays. Trying to do everything and get everything done and still maintain the usual schedule with work and going to the gym, etc. It can be exhausting. Maybe tell your viewers that it’s okay to take a break this week.”
So, here we are. And I’m here to tell you (with the blessing of my husband) that it’s okay to take a break this week. Let’s try to minimize the stresses that we can control and let the rest of it go.
Here are some holiday stress tips from the Mayo Clinic that might be helpful too:
1. Acknowledge your feelings. If you’ve recently experienced loss and feel some sadness and grief around the holidays, it’s ok. Don’t force yourself to be happy. Take care of what you need for you.
2. Reach out for help. If you feel lonely, isolated or overwhelmed, it’s okay to ask for help from a friend, counselor, or church group.
3. Be realistic. We do NOT live in a Hallmark movie. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
4. Set aside differences. You’re hard-pressed to find a family where everyone is on the same page – politically or otherwise. During family get-togethers, set aside those differences and save those hard conversations for another time.
5. Stick to a budget. Finances can cause a BIG stress for most of us. Don’t go overboard. Create a budget that you can handle and stick to it.
6. Plan ahead. If you know you’ll have people over this week, do your shopping early. Prepare so that you’re not scrambling.
7. Learn to say no. You can’t do everything. You can’t be everywhere. Seriously, it’s okay to say no.
8. Don’t abandon your healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays be a free-for-all. If you need to alter your routine, totally fine. But don’t completely neglect your healthy routine.
9. Take a breather. When those stress-y feelings start to take over, you might need to step away from the holiday madness for a moment or two. Go for a walk, go to a coffee shop and read a book, get a massage. Take some time for you.
10. Seek professional help if you need it. If you are still feeling sad or anxious, you might need professional help. Talk with your physician or mental health professional.