November and December are some of the most exciting months of the year. Halloween is quickly forgotten as November takes over October and Thanksgiving moves to the forefront of everyone’s mind. With the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving coming and going, Black Friday always seems to come too early. Serving as the unofficial start of the holiday season, Black Friday kicks off an entire month of stress-inducing activities.
Cooking, cleaning, hanging up Christmas lights and buying all the necessary gifts are just a few of the fun and exciting events. What do these things have in common? While they all can lead to a happy Christmas time, they also lead to stress and fatigue. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that almost half of the adult population don’t take kindly to the holidays.
So, how do you alleviate the holiday stress that inevitably comes when the Christmas tree goes up and the holly jolly music begins playing nonstop on the radio? Many solutions are available to you, but here are five of the most reasonable and easy-to-accomplish holiday goals that fight stress and bad vibes.
Take Time for Yourself
Christmas is the giving season. It’s the time to think of others instead of yourself. While this is great in theory, it’s also good to think of yourself. Sure, the season is a great catalyst for giving. Most of the year, many people don’t tend to give or think of others, but you need to take care of yourself when buying presents and running yourself ragged.
If you begin to fall apart, your work and quality of life begins to fall apart. Maybe you end up buying the wrong presents. You forget to get gift receipts. More importantly, your health begins to suffer. Always take a breath and remember to keep these holiday goals in mind when running around this season.
Break a Sweat
Exercise is key to your whole life. It helps you lose weight, think clearer and improves your mood. During the peak holiday season, it’s easy to lose track of time. You’re constantly bouncing from work to stores to home and back to work again. It’s even more hectic if you have kids. With all this activity, it’s easy to forget about your physical health.
A nice holiday goal is to begin exercising. Even if you’re not shooting to be a fitness model, light jogging or even walking can help alleviate your holiday stress.
Take Time to Catch Up with Others
This may seem like an oxymoron. Aren’t you getting enough socializing at the stores you’ve been hitting all month? While this statement may be true, shopping malls and department store clerks aren’t the only types of socialization you need. You need to spend time with friends and family. And, unless it’s relaxing to you, shopping may not be the best answer for socialization.
Hang out with your friends. Spend a day inside and play some board games. Watch a movie. Have a nice chat over some coffee. Getting away from the busy malls and rush of people can do wonders for your holiday depression. Set a holiday goal to talk to a friend for 10 minutes every other day. Via text, Skype or actual human contact, doing this will help take your mind off the holidays.
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Set Reasonable Goals
It’s easy to take a glance at your Christmas to-do list and freak out — so many things to do and so little time! If your Christmas list is matching that of Santa’s in terms of length, you may want to either cut the list down or break up the list into small chunks.
Lists can be extremely helpful and are satisfying to complete. They give us a definite focus, and we know what we have to do. But, like in life, tackling anything 100% probably isn’t the best course of action. Instead, break up the list by days. Shop for a few specific toys one day and jeans the next. Doing so will not only lighten the load on your mind but also keep you going when your mind may have burned out. As ironic as it sounds, try to make holiday goals and make them reasonable. You’ll be happier for it.
Know When to Say No
This may be a difficult goal to achieve because it’s the holidays. You have so many things to do and there’s no excuse to not complete them. It’s all or nothing. Right? Not necessarily. You may think you have to do it all, but some of it may not be possible. Sure, you’ll probably be able to finish your entire list — and it’s good to push yourself. But don’t push yourself too far. When it becomes too much for you, know that it’s OK to say no.
Saying no is one of the most liberating things you can do. Many times, pressures and choices are placed upon us that we don’t need to do. However, we just agree and say yes because we think we have to. Learn to say no when you have too much on your plate. Doing so will relieve your stress and depression.