This post with tips on how to relieve holiday stress was sponsored by Massage Envy as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
It seems like these days life is more stressful than ever between our jobs, family, and other responsibilities. While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and happiness to enjoy with family and friends, it can also be the most stressful time of year for many of us. In fact, I bet many of you are reading this the day after Thanksgiving and are already stressing that Christmas will be here in less than a month. We worry about making sure the kids have all the toys they want and finding the money to do so. We stress over making everyone's favorite holiday dishes while worrying about our waistline after enjoying too many cookies. Don't even get me started on how frustrating holiday travel can be. If you're like me, you probably spend so much time making sure the holidays are perfect for everyone else that you spend very little time looking after yourself and end up being a grinch by Christmas and need a vacation after the holidays because you're so frazzled. If this sounds like you, check out our tips for how to relieve holiday stress below.
1. Plan ahead. The holidays have a way of sneaking up on most of us. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago the kids were headed back to school and we were picking out Halloween costumes and then BAM, the holidays are here. This year, don't be caught by surprise. Start by planning ahead now instead of waiting until the last minute to save yourself a lot of stress. Do things like planning out your budget for gifts, getting all your recipes together for Christmas dinner so you know what ingredients to buy, and having a game plan for who you want to visit when.
2. Focus on the memories, not the material items. This time of year if you spend just 30 minutes watching TV without fast forwarding and you're sure to see multiple commercials saying you need to buy this or that for the perfect holidays for your family. But, look back on your past holiday celebrations and what do you really remember? Yes, you may remember a couple of really awesome gifts that you got, but you likely really cherish and hold close to your heart several of the memories. Toys and material items are usually quickly forgotten, so if money is tight, don't stress on the material things you can't afford. Memories like baking cookies as a family are what last a lifetime.
3. Remember to take time for yourself. I'm definitely a giver. I often buy gifts for others and spend my free time helping my friends and loved ones. I rarely take the time to do something just for me and often have internal battles when I think about spending money on something nice for myself. However, as I get older, the more I realize that I really do need to take time for myself. I have literally made myself ill before by taking care of others before myself. I think a lot of women tend to be this way, but when we get sick, who is there to keep it all together?
Already stressing about New Year's Resolutions because you're eating so many cookies?
So, to help me keep my sanity during the holidays I make sure to regularly take a few minutes to do something just for me. Some of my favorites include reading a book, taking a bath, and, my favorite, getting a massage at Massage Envy. When I get stressed, a lot of my back and other muscles get very tense, on top of regularly having back pain, so a good massage not only helps me to de-stress but also feel better physically so I can get everything done that I need to do. Massage Envy understands that "stuff" happens every day whether it's being stuck in holiday traffic or burning the cookies for Santa. I love that they're there to provide accessible massage and skin care services so I can manage my own stress and life better. Be sure to also visit Massage Envy on Facebook and Twitter.
4. It's okay to have the holiday you want. As a giver, I usually strive to do the things that make everyone else happy, even if I honestly don't overly care about whatever it is they want to do or would like to do something else myself. I hate to even think about disappointing others, even if I'm miserable myself in the process because I'm trying to do too many things at once. So, I'm reminding myself and everyone else out there like this that it's okay to say no and have the holiday you want. Let the other family travel to your house for once. When someone asks if they can help make dinner, say yes. Want to just celebrate with your immediate family? You can visit relatives the next day. This year, stress less and celebrate your own way.
This year, don't stress out by trying to make everything perfect all by yourself.
5. Get out in the sun for a while. While getting an extra hour of sleep is nice, I never overly look forward to the time change in the fall. I'm one of those lucky people that feel extra tired and grumpy with less sunlit hours in the day, which, of course, leads to more stress. However, I know if I spend at least a few minutes in the sun a day, I feel like I have a lot more energy and feel better in general, even if it's just catching rays through a window. However, getting up and going for a walk in the sunlight helps even more to clear my mind and get to moving a bit.
6. Give back to others. Okay, so I might have gone a bit selfish with #4, but I do like to give back too, especially to those that need it most. Some ideas include volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating to a children's toy drive, helping out at your local animal shelter, and donating items to Good Will. Not only does it warm your heart to help other those in need, but sometimes it can also be a healthy reminder to be thankful for what you already have, too. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we forget just how good some things in our lives really are.
Holiday travel is so much fun, said no one ever.
Are you a fellow holiday stresser? If so, what are some of your tips to relieve holiday stress?