The holidays are upon us once again which means holiday parties, family get-togethers, and fun times with friends. It also means stress – lots and lots of holiday stress.
While some people manage to breeze through the holiday season with barely a ruffled feather, most of us sweat and stew and stress out as we try to navigate all that this busy, albeit delightful, season brings.
So, how do you get through it unscathed? Here’s the skinny on destressing during the holidays.
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Where Does Holiday Stress Come From?
Yes, the holidays are a fun, fast-paced season of family, friends, and cheer, but there’s also a lot of work that goes into all that fun and festivity. Whether you are wrapping presents or polishing the Menorah, it can all be overwhelming.
When you are faced with cooking, cleaning, parties, shopping, coordinating with family or friends coming out of town, entertaining house guests, kids’ holiday events, and all that other stuff that goes along with the holiday season you probably feel like you never get a chance to just sit and rest. You’re always on the run and that’s not good.
So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, look at these common stress areas and see if any of them fit your situation:
- Failure to delegate
- An impossible standard of perfection
- Lack of planning
- Inability to say “No”
- Poor health habits
- Low-quality sleep or no sleep
- You got it from your parents (genetic or learned behavior)
Tips for Taming Holiday Stress
Yes, some people are just a little more high-strung and therefore more prone to stress, but that doesn’t mean that you have to feed it. Here are some tips for taming holiday stress:
- Learn to delegate. Pass off some of your tasks to others. They can handle it.
- No one is perfect so stop trying! It’s OK to not have everything perfect. In fact, there is great beauty in that imperfection and it’s a lot more relaxing.
- Plan ahead. Make a list, shop early, and do what you can as far ahead of time as possible.
- Just. Say. No. Go ahead, and get some practice in. Do it now. Say NO. You will never please everyone but if you are never saying no then you are hurting a very important person – yourself.
- Set a budget, a realistic budget, and stick to it no matter what. If everyone gets reindeer heads made from clothespins, so be it. It’s the thought that counts.
- Take care of yourself. Don’t skip meals, eat healthy foods, avoid highly processed food and fast food, drink in moderation, and stay hydrated.
- Sleep! If you can’t get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night because you are too busy, then you are doing too much. Cut something else out, but don’t sacrifice your health for work or holiday prep. Sleep is important.
- Rewire your brain to manage stress better. Neurofeedback in the answer.
Add Neurofeedback to Your Stress Management Toolbox
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, painless treatment that can help improve brain function and actually help you rewire your brain. It is used for a variety of neurological issues including depression, PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, and yes, stress.
This operant conditioning process adjusts brainwave activity by rewarding positive behavior. This increases learning capabilities and can change your brainwaves so that you can manage stress better and enjoy healthier brain function.
This holiday season give yourself the gift of self-care! Be kind to yourself, you deserve it!
*Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback does not diagnose medical conditions. Sandstone Center for Neurofeedback is a nonmedical, medication-free program for children and adults who struggle with symptoms related to mental health.