Stress Doesn’t Need to be Part of Your Holiday Season

Stress Doesn’t Need to be Part of Your Holiday Season

It’s getting close to that special time of year. The time of family gatherings, expectations, stress, and worry – yes, the holiday season is fast-approaching. Let’s make this holiday season different. Take a moment and pledge to yourself (even write it down) that you won’t let the holiday craziness take over your life. Commit to having a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season. Holidays are about family, friends, and being happy, so why do we stress ourselves out unnecessarily? This extra stress and pressure creates undue stress on your immune system and the last thing you want is to be sick during the holidays. Learn some tips to manage the holiday season and to keep yourself feeling your best.

Limit Extra Pressure

There is a strange drive to make each Holiday gathering perfect. This need for perfection seems to creep in during this time of the year and it can make your days very unpleasant. Often, we don’t even realize that we’re being overwhelmed with the need to be perfect. This gets masked with needing to find the ideal place settings, the perfect gifts, or making the best holiday dessert possible. Take a step back and look at your long holiday to do list – be aware of the items which are adding stress and cross them off your list.
Remember what the holiday season is really about – creating lasting memories for your entire family. Most people aren’t going to notice the place setting or recognize that you went to an extreme effort to make a special dessert. Think about what is important to you – and ultimately remember that you can’t please everyone.

Keep it All in Perspective

Because the holiday season only comes around once a year, we all tend to get a bit obsessed with creating a series of special days. Think about everything else you have going on in your life: work, school, activities, daily errands, etc. Now think about how you can easily schedule in the extra work you need to do during the holiday season.
Write down the most important things about the holiday season for you and your family and then rank this list. Focus on the most important items first and don’t try to accomplish everything. No one can do everything. This is where the stress creeps in and before you know it, you’re run down, dealing with a cold or flu, and feeling exhausted – while still dealing with an impossible holiday to do list.

Focus on Family and Friends

The most important part of the holiday season is the important people in your life. Make sure you’re spending time with these people. It’s okay to turn down invitations to events that you really don’t want to attend. This is your holiday season, so don’t worry about pleasing everyone. It’s not possible. Choose the holiday parties and events that mean the most to you. If an office party conflicts with your child’s school play – the answer is obvious and your co-workers should understand.
Don’t overschedule yourself with multiple weekends of parties and events – by the end, you’ll have lost the joy in these moments. Choose the events that are most special to you and your loved ones. Give these your full attention and savor the time you have together. Relax, have fun, and enjoy it all. This will do wonders for your stress levels and immune system.

Remember Your Health

It’s so easy at this time of the year to take a break from our healthy lifestyle habits. However, it’s very important to keep up with your healthy lifestyle. If you regularly get out for a morning run or a lunchtime walk – keep this up. You need this exercise and personal time to recharge and enjoy some quiet time. There is nothing better than the delicious food that comes with the holiday season. Eat it! But don’t feel guilty about it. Choose the foods you like the most and indulge.
Don’t go overboard, but if you do – remember this doesn’t make you a bad person – it makes you human. Drink your eight glasses of water. Get out for some fresh air. Keep up with your yoga. Eat your vegetables. Enjoy the tasty holiday food. Take your AHCC to keep your body strong and fit. Enjoy yourself.

Always Look on the Bright Side

We know the holiday season isn’t necessarily a happy time for everyone. This time of the year can bring up memories of lost loved ones or be a reminder of tough times. We know it’s hard but try to stay positive. Take stock of all the good you have in your life. If you’re alone with no family or friends close by – seek out other people.
Maybe there’s a food bank or shelter that is looking for volunteers to serve meals. Or perhaps there are activities in your community that can help you give back to those less fortunate. It’s amazing how putting a smile on someone else’s face can make such a difference in your day.

Tell Us What You Do to have a Happy Holiday Season

We want to hear from you. What do you do to make sure you have a happy and healthy holiday season? Do you take off for a cabin in the woods with just your immediate family?
Do you keep the season low-key and limit the events and parties? Let us know and help everyone in the AHCC Research community have an enjoyable holiday season.

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