It’s the most wonderful time of the year—but it can also be the most stressful. According to the Canadian Psychological Association, the holiday season puts a lot of expectations on us, leading to the feeling that we are short on time, and that there is too much to do.
The most common reason for heightened holiday stress among Canadians is holiday shopping. Navigating crowded stores, having difficulty finding the perfect gifts that will please your loved ones, and the financial burden of increasingly expensive gifts can all result in stress that is overwhelming for many people.
But having proper strategies for navigating the holiday season can help you deal with the stress effectively.
Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:
Re-evaluate Your Expectations for the Holidays
The holiday season can be difficult to manage, even without unrealistic expectations. So the first thing you need to do is review your expectations. Are they yours? Or are they imposed on you by friends, family, and society?
The next thing is setting realistic expectations according to what you would like to do and who you would like to interact with this holiday. Don’t let impossible standards stress you out and ruin the holiday.
Organize and Prioritize
While there might be more to do than usual around the holidays, it’s important to prioritize tasks. Organize the things you need to do by writing them down and arranging them according to importance.
Buying extra toilet paper is important, and should be on top of the list, for instance. Buying an inflatable reindeer for the roof, though, should be moved way down. This way, you will prevent yourself from trying to do too much and save yourself from a lot of stress.
Only take on the tasks that you can easily manage. Don’t try to cram too many things in a single day. Not only will you be unable to get to them all in one day, but you’ll also end up either sick or exhausted.
For example, making individual pies for all your family and friends might be a good gesture, but by the time you are done and the guests arrive, you’ll be dead on your feet and unable to enjoy spending time with them.
Break down the tasks and tackle them one at a time to not overwork yourself.
Exercise to Relax
One of the things that people neglect the most around the holidays is their health. You might think you are getting plenty of exercise as you run around doing your errands; however, it’s not the same as getting in some proper workouts. Regular exercise and a proper diet can prevent and relieve stress by regulating your hormones and ensuring your body gets essential nutrition.
Get Professional Help
Too much stress can lead to physical health issues such as headaches, muscular pain, and sleep apnoea. These physical manifestations of stress indicate that your body and mind need rest and proper care. While there are plenty of stress management techniques, nothing beats the effectiveness of professional help.
Unwind and relax after a tough day or week by getting in a professional massage therapy session. Physiotherapists are trained to find trigger points through therapeutic and relaxation massage to help the body be pain-free and stress-resilient.
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