7 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday
The “most wonderful time of the year,” can often feel like the most stressful time of the year. With all the cooking, decorating, shopping, traveling, and family tension, it’s no wonder many of us are prone to holiday burnout.
“In fact, more heart attacks and heart-related deaths happen during the festive season, which may be due to stress, too much alcohol, a fatty diet, or all three.”
Holiday stress or anxiety can be very bad for your health. Stress can impact our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or heart disease, if left unchecked. In fact, more heart attacks and heart-related deaths happen during the festive season, which may be due to stress, too much alcohol, a fatty diet, or all three.
This year, don’t let stress get in the way of a happy and healthy holiday. Try these tips to help you relax and feel more merry and bright:
1. Set a holiday budget.
Before you start shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange to limit spending.
2. Share the to-do lists.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask friends and family to help decorate, wrap gifts or prepare meals. You’ll create holiday memories with others, while tackling your to-do list.
3. Learn to say no.
Give yourself the gift of peace and don’t overbook yourself. It’s OK to say “no” to holiday events and slow down a bit.
4. Be realistic.
Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday. You don’t have to make every meal award-worthy or every wrapped gift look perfect.
5. Don’t slack on self-care.
Keep a regular sleep, meal, and workout schedule. Limit your alcohol. It’s your best defense against stress during the holidays.
6. Give back to someone in need.
Taking time to help others is great for the mind, body and soul. Whether it’s a small act of kindness, or giving to a charity, it reminds us what the season is all about – good will to others.
7. Honor loved ones you have lost.
For many, the loss of a loved one can make it hard to celebrate the holidays. Here are some ways to cope with grief during this time of year: Don’t be afraid to share memories, talk to your doctor or join a grief support group, or create new traditions to honor your loved one.
The holidays don’t have to be something that stresses you out. With a little planning, you can spend more time treating yourself, relaxing and enjoying the people in your life this holiday season.
Find more tips and tools to help you relax and relieve stress on the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health & Wellness page at www.anthem.com/wisconsin. Anthem is a community partner of Chippewa Valley Family.