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6 ways to fight stress during the holidays

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

We are officially into the holiday season. The stores are already decked for Christmas and people are making plans for where they'll spend Thanksgiving and Christmas, and many of the days in between. This season peaks for activity while the weather and time of year pull you towards hibernation. This tug of war becomes stressful. Be sure to make time for yourself to decompress every once and a while. Here I have the quick list for reducing stress during the holidays...

Make a plan and know your limits:

1. Acknowledge your feelings. When you start to feel stressed with all the things (or when you really just want to snuggle by the fire), take a moment to acknowledge these feelings. Too often we just try to power through. Step back, assess how you're feeling and whether you need to take a time out or create an action plan for making things happen.

2. Be realistic. It's the holidays and there are so many neat things to experience and friends and family to hang out with. But it is important to be realistic about how much time you actually have to fit all these activities into. If you drive yourself too hard you're likely to run out of energy and will be too tired, or get sick, and then you'll be enjoying yourself even less.

3. Plan ahead. Start the season with a wish list of what you'd like to accomplish this season. Then prioritize this list so you can focus on the most important items first. Beyond that, it's your choice whether you plan (without crowding too much) or just play it by ear.

4. Don't abandon healthy habits. Avoiding the "holiday" food as much as possible will keep your energy levels in check. Too much starchy or sugary food will spike your blood sugar and then crash you hard, leaving you feeling lackluster and rundown. If you can manage this tip ok you'll have less to reverse with that New Year's resolution. (watch for an upcoming post about that)

5. Take a breather. A lot of us have a hard time making time to rest - not sleep, but actually rest. Using your energy wisely means letting your batteries charge every now and again. When life gets more stressful, the more rest we should take. If you can swing it, find time for about 20 minutes each day (you can start with 5 minutes and add from there) to lie down with an eye mask, some soft music (or silence) and seriously chill. Finding this time mid-afternoon or when you get home from work can make a big difference in your energy.

6. Focus on Gratitude. Finding something to be grateful for can help to reduce stress and anxiety. When you are grateful for the people and things around you, you are more likely to feel content and less likely to feel the need to compete or do more; and more likely to enjoy the present moment.

PS - this year my annual 7-day Gratitude Challenge starts Sunday Nov 24. Download the FREE guidebook HERE and get your Gratitude Adjustment just in time for Thanksgiving!

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