The holidays are typically a time of stress for many of us. Some worry about finances and/or finding that perfect gift, some feel frustrated finding enough time to spend with family & friends. For those who have lost a loved one, they may feel stress due to loneliness at this time of year.
Here are a few tips to help keep us on track to have a holiday season as stress free as humanly possible:
BUDGET: Set a budget for each person on your list and stick with it. For seniors on a fixed income, why not consider a gift of your time helping someone around the house (cleaning, grocery shopping or dog walking for a friend who is housebound, or preparing some home baked goodies (who doesn’t love that?!). Create a scrapbook of favorite family photographs and hand write captions for each photo. Family members will cherish these keepsakes.
MAINTAIN YOUR ROUTINE: Be sure to keep your sleep, eating and exercise schedules as best as you can throughout the holiday season. Exercise & sleep are very important to keep you from feeling run down and getting sick.
PRACTICE GRATITUDE: What are you grateful for? Take a few minutes each day to be thankful for the blessings in your life. If you have trouble doing this, pick a moment every day and use that as your time to focus on gratitude. For instance, It could be when you are brushing your teeth or eating your breakfast. Believe it or not this exercise does help you feel less stress…try it.
PRACTICE FORGIVENESS: As we enter a season where we may find ourselves in the company of people who may have wronged us in the past, forgiving that person can release us of negative feelings that weigh us down and create inner stress. Note: Constant negative thoughts also creates illness!
REACH OUT TO THOSE IN NEED: Invite someone new to your holiday dinner table this year. Perhaps there is someone you know who will be spending the holidays alone. I grew up in a home where it was common to have a new person at the dinner table every year. It’s a nice way to give back and a chance to make new friends.
BE IN CONTROL: Don’t give in to the pressure of the season. If you just don’t want to attend the neighbours holiday party for whatever reason then don’t or if you feel you have to attend then set a limit on how long you will stay and stick to it. If you are hosting a party this year, ask for help – even make it a potluck, less stress on you and your wallet! Resist the pressure to please everyone because you just can’t!
And most importantly, BE IN THE MOMENT. Cherish every moment you spend visiting with friends, neighbours or family members you don’t see very often. We get caught up in the rush and don’t fully appreciate these moments and they pass us by too quickly!
Have a safe, healthy holiday season!