6 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress

  1. Reach out. Seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support, fun times, and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits, broaden your friendships, and help you be your best self.
  2. Be realistic. Family life is always changing. If your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  3. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress too.
  4. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. It will help keep you organized and prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup!
  5. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  6. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.*
*Though you shouldn’t overindulge, remember: It’s not about what you eat between Christmas and New Years – a few indulgences are just fine. What really counts is what you eat between New Years and Christmas!

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