Stress-Free Holidays

Ten Tips For a Relaxing Holiday Season

The Holiday Season is meant to be a joyful time of year. Unfortunately, it can be extremely stressful for many people. This stress can be averted with a little planning, lack of excess and the proper focus which will lead to a much happier, healthier and more enjoyable Holiday. Stress taxes your immune system and is detrimental to your health in many ways. For this reason, it is essential to adopt a more realistic and balanced approach to the Holidays.

Try these 10 simple tips:

1. Make a Holiday Budget — Decide on a budget for Holiday spending, write it down and stick to it! Excessive and impulse spending and the resulting influx of bills is one of the top Holiday stress producers. Pre-planning your Holiday budget can eliminate this added financial stress and is especially important this year with the current state of the economy. Put more love and creativity into your gifts which can help you spend less money.

2. Shop Early & Online — Shop early and online to avoid long lines and crowded mall parking lots. Online shopping allows you to shop at multiple stores without running all over town. Be sure to allow plenty of time for shipping and keep a written record and/or printout for each purchase.

3. Wrap As You Go — Wrap gifts as you buy them instead of leaving all of the wrapping until the last minute. It’s a great idea to buy Holiday presents throughout the year when you see them, especially if they are on sale. Doing this will further alleviate the Holiday budget crunch. Stock up on more economical wrapping supplies by shopping at the after Holiday sales for next year.

4. Ship Early – Avoid long lines at the Post Office by stocking up on stamps and other shipping supplies early, before the Holiday rush. You can order them online or with mail in forms to avoid the trip to the post office. Mail packages as early as possible. Mailing early will help to ensure that your packages arrive on-time further reducing stress. Consider giving gift cards to loved ones across the miles which don’t require a trip to the Post Office.

5. Be Realistic – Try to be realistic about your holiday commitment schedule, your holiday card list and your holiday budget. Think progress not perfection here. Realize that creating boundaries is healthy and it is ok to say no sometimes.

6. Think Positively — Remember the true reason for the season and be sure to think about all of the good, positive things in your life as often as possible instead of focusing on the negatives. Appreciation is very powerful and uplifting!

7. Maintain A Sense of Humor — Although we love our families, too much togetherness and a multitude of varying needs can breed short tempers. Try to maintain a sense of humor and a positive attitude. If you need to, take a short “time-out” to center yourself and return to your best.

8. Take Time to Relax – Take a break by setting aside a little time for yourself over the holidays. A little solitude and self-nurturing does wonders for stress. Read a good book, take a hot bath while listening to relaxing music, enjoy a crackling fire and some hot chocolate or meditate on the deeper meaning of the holidays.

9. Let Nature Nurture – Among all of the hustle and bustle, remember that the best things in life are free. Enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures by getting out in nature and noticing all of the sights, sounds and scents of the Holiday Season. Letting nature nurture is a great stress reliever! Be mindful and enjoy the present moment without regretting the past or worrying about the future.

10. Reconnect – Reconnect with loved ones over the Holidays. See family if you can, call an old friend and send cards to loved ones at a distance. Sharing love is great therapy for everyone, especially those feeling lonely during the Holiday Season.

If you inevitably find yourself stressed after your best efforts, don’t panic! Try this easy “emergency” relaxation technique. Find your “Sea of Tranquility” acupressure point located in the center of your chest in the indentation about three finger widths down from your breastbone. Rest the tips of your fingers lightly on the point and very gently rub in a counter-clockwise circular motion. As you rub, take a few slow, deep breaths (closing your eyes if possible) . . . breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in think “I am” and as you exhale think “calm”. Be sure to breathe slowly so you don’t begin to hyperventilate. This is enough to trigger your body’s natural relaxation response as well as help to calm your mind. You’ll be feeling more relaxed in no time!

More Eco-Friendly Holiday Ideas:

Top Ten Green Thanksgiving Tips

Low Carb Thanksgiving Recipes

Ten Easy Steps for Making Your Halloween Eco-Friendly