Tame Holiday Stress the Healthy Way

29 Nov

[don't be a Grinch!]

As I’m sitting here in my cozy apartment with a “Warm Baked Apple” candle lit listening to Christmas tunes, I couldn’t agree more with Andy Williams when he said, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” I’m absolutely obsessed with the season, and kind of turn into an overly happy, overly energized, overly joyous Santa’s elf around this time. I’m one of those girls who wants to listen to Christmas music 24/7, decorate the apartment with snowflakes and pretty tinsel, and glitter-ize everything! 

So I guess I don’t understand that when I go to the mall I see so many grinches out there. Mothers screaming at their children, people fighting with sales clerks and billions of people walking around with the most scary looks on their faces. What gives? It’s the holiday season, after all! SMILE! But I get it…I really do. While the holiday season brings lots of joy to many, it can also be quite stressful. After a trip to the mall, it’s very tempting to want to pound a few spiked ciders or vodka on the rocks. But let me tell you: that’s not the answer. 

That’s why I went out and asked my friends (Twitter & real life) how they handle holiday stress, and many people got back to me with some great answers that don’t include screaming at your husband or punching a hole through the wall. So I’ve taken what other people have said to me and thought up a few ideas of my own to help YOU handle holiday stress this year…and make it through the season alive. 

Sip On Tea Throughout the Day: Seriously, never doubt the power a cup of tea can do for your stress levels and inner balance. Head on over to your local supermarket or specialty tea & coffee shop and pick up some caffeine-free teas of choice. I love chamomile, peppermint and ginger this time of year, but the flavors are endless! Oh, and tea is calorie-free so you can enjoy it absolutely guilt-free all day, every day if you so wish.

Make Lists: You’d laugh if you saw how many lists I make, but there is a reason to it. And that is they help me organize my days and my life in general. I make all kinds of lists from goals & dreams to groceries and to-do lists. They are all over my apartment, so that I can visually see what it is I need to get done. Make lists for upcoming events, items you need for the sweater you’re knitting, who’s left to buy presents for, and the ingredients for that new recipe you’ve been dying to try for your best friend’s holiday party. Trust me: lists solve all problems.

Fake It: Even if you’ve had the most stressful day ever, fake a smile and move on with it. After all, smiles are contagious, so smile and smile big. It’s so much more difficult (and much more effort) to be angry and mean to someone. If the line is long or the new coffeepot you purchased doesn’t work, take a deep breath and don’t yell at the cashier. She didn’t do anything to you, so don’t bring her good mood down in the dumps too! Instead, realize it’s not worth it to sweat over the little itty-bitty things in life. Instead, move on with it and you’ll be much happier in the long run! 

Make Your Own Gifts: If the mall stresses you out, make your own gifts to save time and money. Homemade gifts are also more special and will be a lot more fun to put together. Get creative this year with your gifts, even if you just design your own holiday cards. I’m planning on making homemade corn bags (heating pads) for my friends, and also printing a few more copies of my recipe book to give away to friends and family for the holidays. You also can’t go wrong with anything involving pictures, liquor or yummy food! 

Get Your Rest: Don’t stay up all night long to get things done. Our bodies and minds need a rest, and you need to give your body what it deserves. So even if you have to save some stuff for the morning or sacrifice your late-night TV watching, it’ll be worth it when you wake up bright ‘n’ energized. Hey, us women need our beauty sleep after all.

Get Away: Sometimes it can be stressful when you get wrapped up in your daily routine. So go on a mini vacay even if you just take a day trip to go ice skating or wine tasting. Little things like this get us through the holidays easy and breezy. I’m taking a four-day road trip to Florida in a couple weeks with a pit stop to Disney World and couldn’t be more excited! I urge you to do the same…even if it’s just a mini getaway. Anything helps. 

What do you do to cope with holiday stress? Any suggestions and ideas to add? 

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2 Responses to “Tame Holiday Stress the Healthy Way”

  1. Kathy November 30, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Love these ideas! And, like I said on Twitter, What Stress? Just say no! And go for a run too in the cold. It’ll revitalize you completely!

    • healthychicks November 30, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      Ahh I love going for a nice sweaty run in the cold, then following it with some hot tea, a shower and slippers : )

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