Managing Your Stress Through the Holiday Season
For the holiday season, here are some helpful tips to manage your stress:
1. Listen to a relaxation exercise or meditate. Not only will you feel relaxed while doing it, but most people also experience a sense of calm that lasts for hours afterwards.
2. Exercise or yoga are great for reducing stress, even if it is only for 15 minutes a day.
3. Take little breaks throughout the day to recharge your batteries. Five or ten minutes every other hour is all it takes.
4. Remind yourself of what it is you are grateful for and refocus your mind on the positive.
5. Identify what your boundaries are and keep them intact. This will help avoid taking on too much responsibility and experiencing burn out.
6. Listen to music.
7. Utilize time management skills, such as writing a daily list of things to do and delegating tasks, in order to help manage your day. This is especially important when you are working from home and trying to balance work and home life. Managing your time means that you can spend time with your family and also complete all your work deadlines on time.
8. Live within your financial means. Money worries are one of the main causes of stress. With this in mind, if your finances are in a bad way, you might find it useful to take some steps to get rid of credit card debts and any other debts that are weighing you down. There are some amazing debt relief options out there nowadays so do not be afraid to reach out to a financial expert for some guidance if money troubles are having an impact on your mental health.
9. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.
10. Make healthy eating choices. While this may be hard during periods of increased stress (many people overeat as a reaction to stress), keeping a balanced diet helps maintain focus and energy.
11. Read a book or make time to engage in any pleasurable activity or hobby. Do something you enjoy or try a new hobby.
12. Cook or bake something and share it with others. Chocolate-chip cookies can have amazing healing powers!
13. Watch a movie
14. Relax. Take a long, hot shower or pour yourself a bubble bath and light some candles.
15. Give to others. A little giving, even something as simple as holding the door open for someone or letting someone go in front of you in line, will go a long way.
16. Give yourself a pat on the back and recognize your accomplishments for the day. All of us are so good at criticizing ourselves. Try giving yourself a compliment and see if your mood changes.
While these might be good suggestions for you, they will only work if you actually use them. Try one or two per day, and hopefully you will feel more at ease.
Erika Krueger, M.A., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Anger Management 818 Facilitator who specializes in addictions and anger management.
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