5 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

December 16, 2016 | Eve Breunig

Photo of a smiling woman with shopping bags slung over her shoulder.

The holiday season is full of fun and laughter, and it’s the time of year where San Diegans come together to celebrate friends, family and the beautiful weather, all while enjoying holiday festivities throughout the county. But the holidays can be tricky to navigate, too. Have you ever heard someone say, “It just doesn’t feel like the holidays this year?” Chances are they’re feeling more stress then joy.

Unfortunately, the holiday season can be a very stressful time of year. Crowds can be intimidating and the flurry of social activities can be overwhelming when we overbook ourselves in the name of fun. While the holidays lend themselves to a good time, days off and extra family time, there’s also a lot of responsibilities and even more than the usual items to squeeze out of your budget.

Here are 5 simple ways to reduce stress so you can really enjoy the holiday season:

  1. Plan Ahead
    Planning ahead will help you feel a sense of control over your schedule. Make a checklist and don’t procrastinate! Don’t try to remember everything; use the list as a guide. Having a written plan will remove tasks from your mental to-do list and allow your mind to relax and move onto something else. And when you plan your activities in advance, you’re less likely to overbook yourself and feel the pressure of having to be everywhere for everyone.
  2. Learn to Say No
    Whether it’s your kids, friends or family, activity increases around the holidays and you may find yourself with too many requests. Although it may be uncomfortable initially to have to say no, you will feel less stress and guilt in the long run.

    Not only is it physically demanding to keep up with a full schedule, it is mentally exhausting! Saying no and maintaining a healthy, balanced schedule will save your body stress and allow for the mental breaks you need.
  3. Keep Your Healthy Habits
    Many people throw their healthy habits, like a sensible diet, regular exercise and getting enough sleep, out the window when they get busy and stressed. This unhealthy shift adds to the stress on your body. Plan ahead (see #1 above) to maintain healthy habits as your holiday schedule fills up and becomes more demanding.

    If you prepare meals in advance and schedule time to exercise and get enough sleep, you’ll make sure to fit these healthy habits in even in the busiest of calendars. Staying healthy during the holidays will enable your body to meet the increased demands of the season. Plus, if you keep your habits going through the holidays, you’ll be prepared to start the New Year on the right foot.
  4. Set a Budget
    Increased spending over the holidays can be a source of stress for many. To help manage financial stress, set a holiday budget early on and then stick to it.

    Include spending for gifts, activities and food in your holiday budget and leave yourself a little buffer, knowing that an unexpected event could arise and you won’t have to say no because of your budget. Not only will this alleviate the stress of over spending during the holidays, it will prevent stress caused by debt after the holidays.
  5. Take Time Out for Yourself
    This stress-reducing tip for the holidays can be the easiest to forget. Spend just 15 minutes out of your day relaxing and recharging. Listen to music, stretch, meditate, take a walk or draw. Do whatever allows you to relax and focus on yourself. You’ll be happy you remembered this important tip. To really make sure you get this time, schedule some “me time” in your calendar.

The holidays can be both the best and most stressful time of year. Although it may not be realistic to maintain a completely normal schedule over the holiday season, it is important to stay balanced and take time out for small, stress-reducing activities to support your health. Remember what’s really important and keep a positive outlook to make the most of your holiday season!

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

Eve Breunig

Eve Breunig

Eve Breunig, VP Sales Development Manager, has 30+ years of experience in Financial Services but continues to learn something new every day. She has been with the Mission Fed Management Team for 4 years and is grateful to be part of a growing organization that focuses on its members. When she’s not at one of our branches, Eve is doing Pilates, cycling and spending as much time as possible with her husband, family and friends.

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