This time of year is stressful. For everyone. Even though I like to joke and say my husband isn’t really stressed, he is, with his own stuff. This time of year is stressful, but also so very merry magical. Maybe it is the goal of magic that makes it so stressful. Maybe it is that it is the end of the year, the end of a decade, or maybe it is just the weather.
Regardless of the things causing you stress this holiday season, here are some tips to manage.
- Manage Expectations: It will not all be perfect, it will not all get done, it probably will not really be magic. Some of it will be perfect, and some will get done, and when things come together, it will seem like magic. Managing your expectations and those around you, will do wonders to reduce stress. Are there tasks that can be extended into the new year, are there meetings or decisions you can push off? Are you causing others stress with your demands? Be realistic with your expectations.
- Break it Down: When I think of my to-do list that I have not actually had time to write down into an actual list, it is overwhelming. But when I say I need to send these five emails in the next hour, or wrap these 15 presents tonight, it is manageable. Break it down into small bite-sized holiday cookie bites.
- Physical Exercise: I am writing this article right after a sweaty work out, and honestly, I feel like a different person than I did this morning. I get high off endorphins. Taking 20 minutes to increase your heart rate and maybe sweat a little, can scientifically reduce your stress. We can find 20 minutes in our day, even if that means having an office or kids dance party to some holiday jams.
- And Breathe. My daughters watch a cartoon, Daniel Tiger. It is actually Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood for this generation. Daniel sings a song, “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count to four…” It works. Try this in your heated moments, as you finally secure a parking spot, as you look at the line you are about to get into to get one more present, to stop and breathe. Bring your heart rate down, reduce your blood pressure, and
If all else fails, you can of course, just spike your egg nog. Kidding, that doesn’t really work or at least not long term.
I hope that everyone has an enjoyable holiday season, and a very happy New Year.
Don’t worry, you totally got this!