Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Season of Stress

The holidays can be a fun, yet stressful time of year. Hosting parties, shopping for presents, spending time with the in-laws and managing your holiday budget can add stress to your already busy life. Here are some tips for dealing with all of life's stressors that come your way.

Avoid unnecessary stress
  • Just say "no." Know your limits and don't take on more than you can handle. 
  • Avoid people who stress you out. Limit the amount of time you spend with these stress-inducing people. 
  • Take control of your environment. From crowded malls to holiday traffic, this time of year can be chaotic. If it's markets or malls that stress you out, do your shopping online. To avoid stressful traffic, take the roads less-traveled even if it adds a few minutes to your trip. 
  • Cut down your to-do list. Distinguish between the "should" and the "musts." Eliminate tasks that aren't truly necessary. 

Make time for fun and relaxation
  • To not get worn out, set aside some time for relaxation each day. The cookies for the children's party at school and holiday cards to friends a family can wait a little while longer. 
  • Some great ways to relax include savoring a warm cup of coffee or tea, curling up with a good book, going for a walk outside or playing with a pet. Make sure to do something you enjoy every day. 
  • Spend time with people who have a positive influence on your life such as your children, other family members and friends. 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Exercising regularly and eating healthy will help reduce and prevent the effects of stress. Even with the added activities this time of year, make sure you keep up with your healthy routine. 
  • Reducing your caffeine and sugar intake will help you feel more relaxed and sleep better. This can be challenging with all of the holiday sweets and festive coffee drinks this time of year. Treat yourself, but just don't over indulge. 
  • Those holiday cocktails may be fun and festive, but they won't help you avoid the stress in your life. 
  • It's important to get enough sleep because feeling tired can increase your stress and cause you to think irrationally. It's a busy time of year for Santa and his helpers, but take a break for a solid 6-8 hours of sleep each night. 

Click here for more ways to cope with stress.

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