Combating holiday stress

By Mina Radman • Published: December 30th, 2016
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the hardest. After all, there are gifts and travel tickets to buy, diet-busting parties to attend and a seemingly endless to-do list. There are ways to manage the stress and stay healthy and happy throughout the holiday season.

First, make a budget. During the holidays, it can feel like money buys happiness, but there’s no need to empty your wallet on gifts. Before you begin shopping, set your spending limit. Save extra cash by purchasing holiday travel as soon as possible. To save on airfare or train tickets, travel between Christmas and New Year’s or the first few days in January.

Second, learn how to say “no”. It’s OK to not attend an acquaintance’s holiday party, and it’s OK to say “no” to an unnecessary expense. Saying “no” to what’s not important allows you to say “yes” to what is.

Third, everything is OK in moderation. With the holiday season comes parties filled with tables of tempting food. It’s OK to enjoy a glass of eggnog and a slice of fruitcake, but cut calories by choosing fruits and vegetables when possible, and grab a glass of wine versus a sugary cocktail. Try to exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week. Even a brisk walk helps lower stress levels and fend off any undesired holiday pounds.

Lastly, try to be realistic. Your holiday celebration does not have to look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Focus on the traditions that are important to you, and remind yourself to breathe deeply when unexpected challenges arise.

With a little planning and positivity, you can avoid feeling like Scrooge and enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season.