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Ho Ho Ho & Holiday Stress

The holiday season is filled with joy, fun, and well, let’s not beat around the bush — STRESS. Family commitments, seeing family you haven’t seen in a while, and extra “to do’s” on your list can be the source of anxiety. This stress can negatively impact your ability to enjoy holiday festivities. Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to reduce stress during this time. Read ahead for some stress-relieving do’s and don’ts that will help bring back the joy to this year’s holiday season.

Don’t procrastinate.
If you need to buy gifts or prepare your home for a holiday party, start your preparations early. If you wait too long, you’ll quickly discover large crowds at your favorite stores, making it difficult for you to get your shopping done. Additionally, some stores may run out of the items you need, forcing you to travel to distant stores to find what you need to buy. You can avoid these issues by starting your preparations before the holiday season arrives. By starting early, you can take your time to shop at your own pace.

Do ask for help.
You don’t need to deal with your upcoming holiday plans by yourself. If you’re hosting a family party, ask the guests to contribute a dish. With a wide range of different foods, your party will become even more enjoyable. If you need help picking out a present for a loved one, ask a friend for advice. By including more people in your plans, you’ll have even more fun getting ready for the holidays.

Do stick to your regular schedule.
Although the holidays tend to throw a few obstacles into your regular schedule, you should still try to stick to your normal routine. Keeping your routine will help you reduce your stress and help you maintain control in your life. For example, if you have an exercise routine, don’t skip your workouts. Regular exercise will help you stick to familiar habits and will also help reduce your stress. If your kids go to bed around 8, don’t plan on staying at holiday parties with them past that time. Overtired and overstimulated kids will not help your level of stress.

Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
Try to keep your holiday projects manageable and reasonable. If you try to take on more projects than you can handle, your stress levels may increase. Be open to trying new holiday traditions and ideas that could make your preparations easier. Learning to say “no” to requests that won’t make or break anything will also help you ease tension.

Do take a break.
If you begin to feel anxious from all of your holiday preparations, take a long break. Don’t fill your schedule completely with holiday events. Save an hour for yourself each day so that you can do a favorite activity alone, such as reading a book or watching a movie. After your break, you’ll feel more energized and ready to tackle your list of projects.

Do know when you’re anxiety is more than you can handle.
If your anxiety and stress are through the roof, it might be time to talk to someone. At Horizon, we have a team of knowledgeable counselors and doctors who can help you in times of high stress or anxiety. We can assess your unique situation and determine the best course of action–so that you can get back to feeling your best and enjoying life again.

(716) 831-1800

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net