'Tis the Season to be...Stressed?
Tips for Managing Holiday Stress
Many of us have an image of the perfect holiday season in our minds. Festive parties, sleigh rides on picturesque winter nights, hot cocoa by the fire, decking your halls and trimming the tree, and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Unfortunately, the reality is that the holidays are stressful for many of us. There doesn't seem to be enough hours to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Sometimes the house is too full of visitors. Parties don't go as planned. The kids' bicker over who gets to put certain ornaments on the tree. And giving everyone the perfect gift isn't always as easy as it seems. But, that doesn't mean you have to stick your head in a stocking to avoid the stress that can come with the holidays. By using these tips, you can minimize your stress and reclaim the merriment of the season.
Holidays are not perfect. People are not perfect. Put aside your Norman Rockwell-like expectations and find the "ideal" that works for your family. No two families are alike; so don't compare yourself to others. Choose a few traditions that are important to you and hold onto those. Also, don't allow the hustle and bustle of the holidays to take you and your family completely out of your daily routines. What works for your family is, indeed, the perfect holiday.
Make a List & Check it Twice
During the holiday season, there always seems to be too many demands and not enough time. Make a list of everything you'd like to get done and then take a good, hard look. Now prioritize. What things can go? Be honest with yourself about your "must-dos," "would like to-dos" and "don't have to-dos." Start eliminating tasks and obligations where you can. If you don't have time to recreate the Griswold's house of Christmas lights, don't do it. No time to cook a seven-course meal for a dinner party? Host a holiday potluck or serve a few finger foods instead. No one will know it isn't what you had initially planned.
Before you shop for gifts or food for entertaining, decide how much you truly can afford to spend. It can feel good to give extravagant gifts or prepare lavish meals, but if you are overspending, you will feel stressed. Remember, the holidays are not about how much you spend—keeping it in check now will eliminate financial stress for the present and into the New Year.
Give from the Heart
As tempting as it is to buy for everyone on your list, it's not always possible. Instead, bake a favorite dessert, send a handwritten note and use your creativity to make something or give an act of service. Those are the gifts that matter most, and not only do they make the recipients feel loved, they make you feel good, too. We love the idea of homemade coupons for "Winter Workouts" to keep you and your loved ones motivated during the colder months!
'Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, and throw your fitness routine out the window—you'll get back on track in January, right? WRONG! If you want to keep your stress in check, you might want to rethink overindulging during the holidays. Excessive eating and drinking will only add to your stress, along with making you feel guilty. Instead, be sure to get plenty of sleep, eat a small snack before parties so you don't overeat, and get regular exercise. In fact, when you're getting stressed over baking 14 dozen cookies, don't know what to get your second cousin's hairdresser, or with Uncle Melvin overstaying his welcome, hitting the gym is just the thing to relieve some stress.
If you are away from home during the holidays, be sure to download the PerFit app to your smartphone. It's like having a personal trainer and a gym in your pocket to keep you moving wherever you may be. Motivation-to-go and stress relief at your fingertips, PerFit makes holiday workouts easy.
Just Say No
When your neighbor asks you to help park cars at her holiday party, and you say "yes"—even though that means you'll have to find your son a ride to his pageant and you'll get there late and have to stand—it's OK to say "no." Saying "yes" when you should really say "no" ups your stress factor, plus it makes you feel overwhelmed and possibly even resentful. You can't help with everything and friends and family will understand.
Take a Break
With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it's easy to overlook taking some down time. Take a half hour—or even just a few minutes—to spend alone, without distractions. Do something that relaxes you, whether that be reading, taking a walk, playing a video game, listening to music or taking a bubble bath.
Laugh it Off
Laughter is one of the best stress relievers there is. Get together with friends, watch a holiday movie, play a game with your family—do whatever it takes to just laugh!
The holidays can be stressful, but they can also be wonderful. By having some strategies at your disposal to cope with common stressors, you can rediscover the joy of the season and have very happy holidays, indeed.
Stay on track
Be sure to download our personal training app PerFit to stay on track during the busy season. We understand that because of work, school, kids and "just life" it can be difficult to keep a regular exercise schedule. That's why we created and developed the PerFit app powered by Prairie Life Fitness Personal Trainers. With it, you can have your personal trainer with you at all times and work out when and where it's most convenient for you. At home, at the gym and on-the-go. Wherever you are, whenever you want. Download free today!