During these tough economic times, it’s only natural that people are feeling more stressed than usual, especially during the holiday season when people have lots to do and feel pressured to be “merry.” Now more than ever you need to understand that you can regain control and manage the stress that, left unchecked, can cause distraction, illness and serious health problems. Some ways to regain control include:
- Make a plan for how you’re going to approach the holidays this year. It might be time to adapt some traditions to the here and now, such as elaborate family gatherings. This year, keep them simpler. You can also consider shortening your gift list or reducing the amount you spend per person. Homemade gifts can be a more economical way to share the holiday spirit with people you care about.
- Slow down and simplify your life. You can’t do everything, so allow yourself to say “no.” Don’t over-extend yourself.
- Recognize that not everything can be “perfect.” Perfect holidays only exist in story books.
- Consider making modest donations to charity in honour of friends and loved ones to relieve some of the pressures of holiday shopping and
spending. Helping others can often help you deal with stress and depression.
- Exercise to maintain energy and reduce stress – and to work off the extra holiday cookie you might eat.
- Eat healthy, drink alcohol in moderation.
- Don’t get caught up in “gloom and doom” discussions. Focus on what’s positive in your life.
- Identify what’s making you feel stressed, and then focus on what you can control.
- Be sure to take some quiet time for yourself.
- Focus on what’s truly important about the holiday season. It’s not about how much money you spend, but about the time you spend with
people you care about and who care about you.