Managing The Seemingly Inevitable Holiday Season Stress

Ever wonder why so many people get colds or flus in January and February? As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, there is literally less energy available for life. That’s why the trees have dropped their leaves and many animals have started hibernating. With shopping, social gatherings and end-of-year obligations, however, we humans go against nature — increasing our activity and stress levels at exactly the time that the body wants us to be decreasing them.

The great thing about holiday stress is that it’s predictable. Unlike many other types of negative stress we encounter in life, we know when holiday stress will begin and end, and we can make plans to reduce the amount of stress we experience and the negative impact it has on us.

Here are some tips you can try to help reduce holiday stress before it begins so that it remains at a positive level, rather than an overwhelming one:

1) Practice Self-Care

Be good to yourself! Get enough sleep, eat well (most of the time) and keep your sense of humor. Remember: this season is a time to celebrate. Why wreck yourself in the process?

2) Set Boundaries

The key word here is “no,” in any of its more gracious forms, as in, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I have another [fill in the blank] at that time, but thank you so much for asking.” Choose the events that you must attend and that you want to attend. Skip the rest. Your body will thank you.

3) Spend Responsibly

Make a realistic budget, determining how much you can spend without jeopardizing your financial state. Stick to that figure! Also, if you hate shopping or the commercialization of holidays, donate to a meaningful cause instead of buying gifts. Send your loved ones cards, letting them know that you’ve made a donation in their name, and ask them to do the same instead of giving you a gift. Act early so that everyone can manage their expectations accordingly.

4) Party Smart

Carbohydrates and alcohol lower anxiety and lift mild depressions, but there is always a crash afterwards. Explore new ways to cope and enjoy yourself — through music, art, writing or other forms of creative expression. It’s fine to party hard and “blow out the pipes” occasionally, but repeated blowouts and hangovers in the span of one month will leave you feeling depleted. Pick your party spots judiciously.

5) Eliminate Useless Worry

Use your imagination to effectively plan ahead of time — from organizing a gathering, to buying gifts, to taking good care of yourself. Do positive visualization before you walk into situations that make you nervous. Use imagery to connect to your intuition and emotional intelligence. Count your blessings, be grateful for what you have, and enjoy yourself.

6) Don’t abandon healthy habits.

Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and quilt

Try these suggestions:

Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets,
cheese and drinks

Get plenty of sleep.

Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.

7). Take a breather.

Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may
refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces
stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

Some options may include:

Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
Listening to soothing music.
Getting a massage.
Reading a book.
Happy holidays!

DoTERRA Essential oils that may be beneficial for stress relief:

Lavender, Elevate, Serenty, and/or Clary Sage.

Wishing you Peace, Harmony and Balance

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