The holidays mean quality time with family members, delicious homemade treats, and the spirit of gifting the ones you know and love.
But what about the awkward office parties, the obligatory secret Santa gifts, and the jam-packed malls? There’s no doubt that along with the warm, magical feelings the holidays conjure up, the season of merriment also brings with it a certain amount of stress (just how much depends on the size of your extended family!).
Keeping stress levels at bay during the holidays is essential if you want to make it to the New Year on a good note. Luckily, the season of giving also includes giving to yourself, which means self-care activities are non-negotiable.
With that in mind, here are five of the most relaxing and rejuvenating ways to manage stress during the holidays this season.
1. Easy on the alcohol
While it may seem counterintuitive to watch your alcohol intake while letting loose over the holidays, you’ll actually be doing yourself a favour in the long run. As a depressant drug, excessive amounts of alcohol could leave you feeling down in the dumps and just plain yucky later on — even though it can make you feel high on life in the moment. Although the eggnog will undoubtedly be flowing at holiday parties this year, be sure not to overdo it if you’re looking to feel happy and relaxed all the way into 2018.
2. Give a little
The holidays truly are a time of giving, and the best way to take the emphasis off your problems is to contribute to someone else’s life in a positive way. Whether it’s donating old clothes to the Salvation Army, or volunteering at a turkey drive, there are countless ways to step outside of your bubble and lend a helping hand to those in need. Having a chance to add value to the world, while receiving nothing in return will feel oh-so-good.
3. Get active
During the cooler months, it can be tough to stay motivated to get outdoors and move when it’s so warm and cozy inside. But, wintertime is arguably the best season to enjoy the outdoors. Between snowshoeing, skiing, skating and long hikes through a snow-covered forest, there are so many ways to get some exercise and relieve stress naturally over the holidays.
4. Be prepared
Although it may seem like your gifting list gets longer every year, holiday shopping gets easier when you prep in advance. Start by making a list of the people you need to buy for, then research gift ideas online before you hit the stores. That way, you won’t be wandering around the mall aimlessly looking for the perfect gift. Make sure you set a firm budget for each gift beforehand as well so you won’t be blindsided by extra costs. And don’t forget to include the cards and wrapping paper!
5. Focus on what matters
At the end of the day, the memories you make with your loved ones during the holidays are more important than finding the perfect party dress; or baking Martha Stewart-approved cookies. Try not to stress about the small stuff, and most importantly, enjoy the holiday season! It only comes once a year, so relax, breathe and appreciate the love in the air.
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