Putting too much stress on yourself to make the holidays perfect can lead to exhaustion and anxiety. Bring the joy and relaxation back into the season by making time for self-care. Taking a break when you're burnt out, asking loved ones for assistance, staying active, and enjoying treats in moderation can all help. Get started with these handy wellness tips:
- Only participate in the holiday traditions you enjoy. You don't have to participate in every tradition to experience the joy of the holidays, so only choose the ones you like the most. You'll save energy and money, and will have more time to spend with family and friends.
- Recruit helpers. Assign a few holiday to-dos to your partner, children, or family members. If you'll be making a holiday meal, ask the others in your household to help with cooking and cleaning up.
- Get some rest. Avoid exhaustion by taking a break to relax or go to bed early when you feel tired. It's okay to say "no"; you don't have to do it all.
- Socialize with friends and family. The holidays can be a lonely time for those of us who've lost loved ones, or for those of us who have felt isolated during the pandemic, so make plans for virtual chats or outdoor visits with friends and family you enjoy spending time with (and set boundaries with family members who sap your energy). The social interaction will help you remember that you are valued and you are not alone.
- Make gift giving easier. Save time and eliminate stress by asking everyone for a list of what they want, organize a gift exchange, give to charity, or coordinate an outdoor outing or virtual "experience" instead.
- Stay physically active. Regular exercise is good for your well-being, especially during hectic times of year. Even just five minutes of aerobic activity can reduce stress and anxiety.
- Schedule some relaxation time. Whether it's a meditation app, yoga video or hot bath, schedule some relaxing "me time" away from the holiday hustle and bustle.
- Let your city play host. Nearly every city hosts outdoor holiday events throughout the season, many of which are drive-through this year, and some of which are free to attend. Try taking advantage of these events rather than planning your own.
- Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. Eating a healthy breakfast and lunch everyday can help stave off the temptation to eat every holiday treat in sight.
- Drink alcohol sparingly. Avoid hangovers and regrets. Keep it to one or two drinks, and always know who the designated driver will be if you're away from home. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Tried some of these tips and still feeling stressed or anxious? Consider scheduling an appointment online with a primary care physician near you. They can talk through your symptoms and make additional recommendations to get you back to feeling like yourself.