It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or is it? While the holiday season is made out to be a time of joy, happiness, coming together, peace and love, it can be far from any of those things. For many people, the holiday season results in a fair amount of stress and pressure, which can have negative mental and physical effects.
If you’re someone who dreads the holiday season and just wants to do your best to get through it without too much drama, it may be time to take a different approach. While you may not be able to turn things around completely and learn to love the season, you can alleviate much of that stress. Here are ways you can stay calm and relaxed throughout the holiday season.
Stop Procrastinating – Do as Much in Advance as Possible
For those who want to be able to just take one step that has a huge positive impact on the entire holiday season, advanced planning and organization are key. You want to do as much as your possibly can in advance of holidays and your various gatherings and commitments. When you leave things to the last minute, it becomes extremely stressful, you’ll feel rushed, in over your head, and likely you won’t be able to accomplish everything.
Some of the things you can do well in advance of the big day include:
- Gift shopping
- Gift wrapping
- Meal planning
- Tidying the house a day or two before guests arrive
- Purchasing groceries and ingredients in advance (the ones that don’t have a short shelf life)
Procrastinating will be your number one enemy, so try not to fall into the trap.
Don’t Over-Extend Yourself
It is very easy to over-extend yourself during the holiday season. You want to say yes to every invite and not feel like you’re letting people down, but your sanity is still important. If you commit to too many things, you’ll end up stressed out and letting others down. It’s best to learn how to prioritise and say no here and there.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Stress can be made worse by many factors but one of the most influential is a lack of sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then it is impossible to perform at your peak levels – mentally and physically. While it may be tempting to cut back on sleep to get more done, in the end, this is counter-intuitive.
Experts recommend that you stick to a regular sleep routine or schedule, especially during high-stress times. Now it may take a bit more effort to fall asleep, especially if you have a lot on your mind, but it’s important to try to stick to a routine.
Some tips that can help you to fall asleep faster and easier include:
- Cutting out caffeine after dinner
- Cutting out alcohol after dinner
- Make sure your room is dark with no lights spilling in
- Using an ambient sound machine
- Investing in good quality sheets
- Removing distractions from the bedroom such as a television
Exercise Does an Excellent Job at Preventing and Fighting Stress
Introducing exercise into your daily routine will also help you to stay cool, calm, and collected throughout the holidays. Even if you don’t suffer from stress, daily exercise is something everyone should do and will benefit from.
When you’re busy exercising, your body will release endorphins, which are known as the “feel good” hormones. It’s as though a rush of calmness and happiness will flow over you. It can get pretty addictive and you may soon find yourself exercising more than once a day just to relieve your stress.
Video Gaming Can Have Calming Effects
For quick and temporary stress relief you may want to give video gaming a try. This source of entertainment can have instant calming effects as you’ll be busy focusing on the game rather than your massive holiday to-do list. Think of it as a short escape if you will. As for what game you play, that doesn’t matter, they will all feature the same sort of benefit. But if you want to know what’s trending, here are some titles worth checking out:
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
- League of Legends
You can also opt to play games online with other players around the world, giving you socialisation time, which also helps where stress is concerned.
Throw Yourself Into the Thrills of Online Sports Betting
Perhaps you’re not the traditional video game type of person and maybe you don’t want to invest in an expensive console for that reason. If that’s the case, you can check out this list from OnlineCasinos that features the best of the best when it comes to sports betting sites in the UK. This list from OnlineCasinos has done all the research and legwork for you so you don’t have to waste time on sub-par sites. Sites are ranked based on the level of payout, selection of the sports offered, what the cashout and welcome offers are, and more.
Sports betting can be a really fun hobby to engage in for the sports lovers out there. Just like with video games, you’ll be focused on the game that you placed a wager on, so holiday stress will be the last thing on your mind.
Remember That Everything Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
The final takeaway is to remember that not everything has to be perfect. This is a hard concept to swallow but once you do life, in general, will become easier and more peaceful. Perfection isn’t realistic in life and that’s okay. Sometimes those unexpected occurrences or issues that pop up end up being the best thing to happen.
Making It Through the Holidays In One Piece
If you’re tired of the holiday season feeling like a long and drawn-out battle then it’s time to stop and approach things in a whole other headspace. All of these tips will help you to make it through the holidays in one piece and stress-free.