The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holiday season seems to be the most stressful time of the year. Instead of accepting stress as part of the holiday theme, ask yourself “What are the healthiest things I can do for myself?” You’re not being selfish, you’re simply taking the right steps to the most peaceful and enjoyable holiday season of your life—and you can be an inspiration for others to do the same. Here are five ways to find peace in the holiday chaos.
Commit to do less
The holiday season stress is often a result of trying to do too much for too many others. Commit to eat, drink, party and spend less and you’ll be surprised how much less stressed you feel. Slow down, take a walk, drink in the beauty of your surroundings and find other simple pleasures. While you’re at it, be sure to take long deep breaths that will relax your body.
Manage your time
Do you wait until the last minute to fight the crowds to buy gifts. then frantically wrap them? Manage your time better by purchasing and wrapping all of your gifts one to two weeks before your holiday celebration. This will allow you time to visit malls and stores with friends or family not to buy anything but to enjoy the decorations, lights, music and people-watching, and have a long, relaxing lunch or dinner.
Give to others in need
Giving to a needy family can help you change your perspective on the holiday season. Contact your local house of worship or a social services organization that connects people in need with people who want to help. You can give gifts, which are especially appreciated by children or provide a holiday meal. You can make it yourself or buy an entire meal at a participating grocery store. You can also remain anonymous and let someone else deliver the gifts and meal.
Give yourself a gift
Stop for a moment right now as you’re reading this, close your eyes and let your imagination find the perfect gift you know you’ll love. You do not need to wait to receive it. Buy it today and begin enjoying it immediately. Giving to yourself can lift your spirits and make you more ready and willing to give to others.
Say no and be nice to Y-O-U
Don’t accept invitations to dinners or parties unless you really want to attend. However, if you cannot avoid certain obligations, be sure to fit in things you enjoy. You might want to do something alone or with others—get a manicure, pedicure or facial, spend quality time with your husband or friends, or have playtime with your children or grandchildren. Take your favorite walk, hike, swim, jog or run, or go to the gym. Go to a movie or play. Attend religious celebrations or other uplifting events.