“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” we usually say, but Christmas also represents a time when stress levels go through the roof. To help you cope better with this happy but stressful time of year, we’ve put together some important tips to make you forget about stress and make these days more enjoyable.
For many of us, Christmas can be an important source of stress, pressure and conflict. Some people may feel overwhelmed by excesses and expectations and end up depressed during the holidays.
The lack of time and money and the pressure of giving gifts everywhere can often contribute to stress during the holiday season.
Most of us know the adverse effects that stress can have on our body. We already know that it can affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, if not controlled.
In fact, many studies have shown that an increased incidence of heart attacks and heart – related during the festive season death occurs, which may be due to stress, excessive consumption of alcohol, a diet rich in fats or a combination of the three factors. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we remedy the stress of the Christmas holidays as soon as possible.
We are aware that with everything related to the kitchen (the preparation of multiple Christmas dinners with more or less diners, business dinners, appointments with friends and family), home decoration, visits (expected and unexpected ) and the delivery of gifts, the parties can make us feel that we have to try to meet a deadline for delivery of work with an exacerbated level of pressure (hey we are at Christmas) instead of trying to enjoy the holidays, That is what it is. Therefore, try these Christmas strategies to eliminate stress and relieve tension and help the stress disappear.
Economic problems are one of the main causes of stress during the Christmas season, according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA). Recent data collected in the APA’s annual Stress in America survey confirms this point and reports that 62% of us feel stressed because of money.
2Avoid stress for money
The purchase of gifts, departures and trips can generate a burden, even for the most enthusiastic buyers who usually act in this way all year. However, there are some steps we can take to limit economic stress.
3Establish a budget
First of all, make sure you take into account all your usual expenses so you do not run short with bills, such as rent or electricity. Plan any other expenses during the holidays, including holidays that you can make or visits to friends or family.
Once all these elements have been subtracted from the budget, you can calculate how much you can spend on gifts. Being organized and realistic about the budget will help us not to overspend.
4Make a decision every time
Do not forget to separate the decisions related to expenses. Trying to make too many decisions at the same time can be overwhelming, which can lead to the exhaustion of both our willpower and a greater risk of overspending.
It is often impossible to get away from the stores (and their attractive discounts) and the shopping centers completely during the festive season, but limiting the time you spend in these places can also help you control your expenses. Control impulsive spending by carrying only the cash you may need for purchases, leaving all credit and debit cards at home.
Everyone has an idea in their heads of a perfect vacation, but when reality does not reach the vision, stress can reach us. Try to handle your expectations in a realistic way.
7Money and stress problems
Sometimes, during difficult economic times, people turn to smoking, alcohol, gambling or overeating to try to relieve stress. These behaviors can lead to arguments and conflicts between couples and families. Seek help from a professional if you discover that these behaviors are causing you problems. You have to keep in mind what is important. Excessive spending can overshadow the true feeling of Christmas. Relations with friends and family are more important than material objects.
8Keep it real
Common sense first of all. Despite the great plans, no event works perfectly, and this is also true for Christmas celebrations. Instead of accumulating stress in the way of any mishap that may occur, see these miniature calamities as an opportunity to exercise flexibility and endurance. Dining 30 minutes late, getting dirty with food, or having a crooked tree will not ruin this day. Instead, it will create good memories that you can remember for years to come.
9Help children to be realistic
As children grow older and become more aware of what they want and what their friends have, parents may feel pressured to live up to their expectations and provide them with the perfect gifts. Here the ideal is to help the little ones to create a wish list that describes any gift they want. Make sure they know they will not receive everything on the list and highlight everything that is not acceptable or can not be obtained. Remind the children that Christmas tries to be together, not a list of gifts that must be expressed in a letter. Planning fun activities that encourage everyone to get together and have fun can be very positive.
10Take your time
Carrying the world on your shoulders and trying to achieve everything only during the holidays can make a dent in your mind and body. Ask for help to carry out some of the tasks of this time of the year and also take some time off. Not being stressed will benefit you and the rest of your family. Concentrate on doing something that is relaxing for you to recharge your batteries, like reading a book, watching a Christmas movie, listening to music or making an appointment for a massage.
Christmas is the season of indulgence, and whether it’s a party or a family dinner, we’re surrounded by extravagant meals and alcoholic beverages. There is a lot and very varied. Although many of us only earn half an extra kilogram during the vacation period, those grams can accumulate in the coming years and contribute to obesity later in life, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
12Stress and appetite
The stress excessive increases appetite and cravings for sugary and fatty foods. In addition, chronic alcohol consumption can further exacerbate stress by raising the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Dietitians at the University of Missouri in Columbia (USA) recommend that families try to maintain healthy eating habits during the holidays to avoid weight gain and stress. Enjoy the seasonal delights, but try to control the size of the portions. A day of indulgence will not lead to significant weight gain, as long as you plan to get back on track with healthy food options and exercise the next day.
13Go out to walk
The antidote to holiday stress could be as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood every day. Many studies have shown that physical activity rearranges the brain in such a way that it reduces its response to stress.
14Take care of your mood
The exercise regularly can help reduce stress and increase and stabilize mood. In addition, exercise produces endorphins, natural analgesic chemicals that are released into the brain, which improve the ability to sleep and reduce stress. Many studies have also shown that if we can convince the rest of the family to leave the couch and go for a walk, our stress levels will be further reduced. Training in a group reduces stress levels by 26% and improves the quality of physical, mental and emotional life.
While you decorate the tree or bake festive cookies, forget all that is left to do on the to-do list and get permission to have fun. Laughter is a great tool in the fight against stress: it improves mood, stimulates the heart, lungs and muscles, and also releases endorphins. Laughter also increases circulation, helps the muscles to relax and decreases the physical symptoms associated with stress. Be that as it may, be sure to include Christmas humor, laughter and laughter. Even waiting for a fun event increases the hormones that induce relaxation and decrease stress hormones.
16Find positive ways to reduce stress
Finding positive and healthy ways to manage stress could reduce many of the adverse health consequences related precisely to stress. The key is to locate the techniques to combat stress that work best for each and achieve a fantastic and unforgettable Christmas.