The holiday season is upon us which means food, family, and festivities. While this can be a joyous time, it can also be stressful.
Here are five tips to de-stress and worry less this holiday season:
1. Set a spending budget
Between buying gifts for your kids, your husband or wife, cousins, aunts, uncles or your mailman, it is easy to overspend. In fact, a recent Gallup poll reported that Americans plan to spend an average of $906 dollars on gifts this holiday season, the most since 2007. According to Dr. Jane Wayland with UALR’s College of Business, there is a way to shop without breaking the bank.
“Whether it’s an amount for the whole season, or individual people, set your budget and stick to it. When you get home at night, look at how much you spent and don’t wait until January,” said Dr. Wayland.
If you are on a tight budget, Dr. Wayland also suggests getting creative with your gifts. Make your own or offer to watch a friend’s child for a night for free.
2. Get plenty of exercise
Between the pie and the cookies, staying fit during the holidays can be tough. Finding time to exercise between all the shopping and parties can be even more stressful. However, personal trainer Jeff McDaniel with FastFit said being active can help you cope with stress.
“I call them digestion walks. You have a big meal, go for a 10, 15 or 20-minute walk. That is great for people getting started with fitness and it acts like a nice little de-stresser,” said McDaniel.
3. Keep it simple
Between welcoming out-of-town guests and hosting holiday parties you may feel overwhelmed by all you have to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Get your family involved and delegate. Know your limitations and learn how to say no. You'll thank yourself later!
4. Take time for yourself
With so much happening during the holidays, you might feel like you don't have a moment alone. Even spending as little as 15 minutes by yourself can make a world of difference. Try going a walk, listening to relaxing music or getting a massage to take your mind off your to-do list.
5. Pick your battles
This holiday season, you might be spending long periods of time with your family, which in some cases, can be stressful in itself! With so many different personalities, and differences in opinions, it might seem like a fight just waiting to happen. Charlie Simpson, a counselor at Arkansas Relationship Counseling Center said it is important to learn how to let go and pick your battles.
“If you see a conversation getting ready to go in a direction that you are uncomfortable with, just to able to say, ‘I don't really want to discuss that at this particular time,’ and hopefully you will have other people around you that will respect those boundaries,” said Simpson.
Don't be afraid to speak with a doctor or mental health professional if you're having a difficult time. They can help you improve your coping skills so you can get through the holiday season without a fight.