The most wonderful time of the year isn’t so wonderful for a lot of people. For far-too-many of us, the holidays can be a stressful time. Between crowded stores, gift-giving, family time, and endless eating, it’s easy to see how this time of year can cause a lot of stress for people. Below are some of our tips for beating the stress you might feel during the next few weeks. Less fear, more cheer!
Work It Out
Exercise has been proven to help reduce stress. Regularly exercising during the holiday season can take away some of that stress you’re feeling. Take all of your frustrations out with a workout. If your schedule simply won’t allow for regular exercise, do what you can to fit it in wherever you can find time. Even walking for a half an hour every day can help your stress go down!
Get Some Sun
Ok, we know it’s cold. But sunlight actually helps your mood. Seasonal affective disorder is a condition which affects millions of people every year. It is the condition where shorter days and a lack of exposure to sunshine actually affects your mood. Sunlight stimulations serotonin, which is a chemical neurotransmitter in t the brain that affects everything from mood and social behavior, to appetite, to sleep. Not getting enough serotonin can cause you to be grumpy and stressed out. So even though it’s cold—get out in the sun from time to time! Even sitting near a window on sunny days can help relieve some stress.
We are all people-pleasers during the holidays. We want things to go just right—whether it’s throwing the perfect holiday party or buying the perfect gift, trying to get everything to go your way and please everyone can be a big burden on your shoulders. This year, just say no to some things. Consider your mental health before you put too much on your plate. Too many holiday parties to attend? It’s ok if you don’t go to them all! Presents stressing you out? You’ll be surprised how receptive people are to all sorts of gifts—you are probably overthinking it. Say no at least once to something and you’ll be surprised the world of difference it makes!
Above all else, keep a positive attitude. Consciously changing your attitude will work wonders to reduce stress. Choose to be cheery this holiday season. Smile more, schedule less, and stop worrying about everything being so perfect! The holidays really are meant for relaxation, so make a point to relax!