Stress piles up around the holidays. What should be a time of peace, joy, and giving can become a time of hurrying, rushing, and worrying. It's important to find a way to balance holiday stress so you can enjoy the true pleasures of the season.
Know your "enemy." Identify what causes you stress and find ways around it. For example, some people find stores too crowded in December. If you need to shop, try shopping online from the comfort of your home, or order by phone or mail. Take a half-day off work to shop when stores are less busy. Give home-made gifts or ones that don't need to be bought or wrapped (such as a promise to take someone to the theatre, or a night of babysitting).
Get enough sleep. Give yourself the gift of a good night's rest. Get your shopping, wrapping, and planning done in time for a full seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and more during periods of extra stress.
Eat your veggies. During stressful times, your immune system could use an extra boost of nutrition. Keep fresh or canned veggies on hand to supplement your meals or fill in the gaps as snacks. For further information, see "Savour the flavours of the season – without overdoing it!"
Avoid using caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco as a prop to help you keep going. If you find you can't keep up with your schedule, it may mean you need to re-evaluate and reduce some of your commitments.
Don't overbook. It is all right to say "no" now and again! You have the option of politely declining invitations or rescheduling a few events if need be. Save your strength and holiday spirit for the activities that really matter to you.
Give yourself a break. Many of us get so caught up in giving and sharing with others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Slot in some relaxation time – you deserve it! This is one appointment you really shouldn't decline.
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