By this point, it’s a full-blown holiday extravaganza. From the holiday-themed coffee drinks (released waay too early, we’re side-eyeing you Starbucks), to the Christmas music playing everywhere (from your car, to the grocery store, to your barre class, whoops), it’s inescapable. And it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, and yet every year around November, we start to feel an underlying sense of anxiety buzzing in the background of all our Christmas cheer.
Before you begin bah-humbugging your family and co-workers, here are some common holiday stressors and accompanying ways to bring back your sanity and start enjoying a little more of that holiday magic this year!
- BE A Party Pooper. Of course, part of the beauty of the holidays is getting to spend extra time with those you love. Throw in the company parties, GNO ornament swaps, and the local parades, and you’re completely booked until January 1st! But there actually can be too much of any good thing. Ask yourself what feels best for you, and your immediate family, and commit to only what you can handle. It’s hard to say the dreaded n-o, and potentially hurt people’s feelings, or get haggled for being the party pooper. But you truly need to put your needs and your family’s needs first right now. Avoid spreading yourself thin by setting expectations with family and friends up front and let them know your plans. Then hold strong to those boundaries you’ve set for yourself.
- Self-Care Gets Serious This Season. It’s no wonder people tend to get sick more often this time of year. Between the weather, the heavy foods, the extra sugar, the stress, and the lack of sleep, you’re not exactly setting your body up for success. Take self-care seriously this time of year and schedule some extra workout classes (consider non-traditional times, like early morning or weekend classes), and do it as a favor to your well-being rather than as a punishment for those three holiday sugar cookies you’ve already had this week (hey, it happens). Prioritize sleep and swap out your morning coffee from time to time with hot tea or lemon water to reset your system a little bit.
- Detox Not Retox Why does it feel like there’s a drink with your name on it everywhere you turn this month? Probably because there likely is…we tend to indulge in one cocktail too many, especially when it’s a complimentary one, with all the extra socializing right now. Remind yourself that you actually don’t have to drink alcohol just because it’s available to you (Is the holiday party boxed wine really even worth it?). It’s actually easier than you think if you plan ahead. Allow yourself one or two nights a week to partake in the holiday spirits, and otherwise swap out your cocktails or wine with a fun mocktail, like pomegranate juice and soda water, or our favorite, kombucha (Bring it in your purse and no one will probably know the difference of this sparkly substitute for champagne). The less alcohol/sugar you consume, the better your sleep, skin, and overall mental well-being will be. And at a minimum, drink at least 8 oz of additional water for every alcoholic drink you do consume.
- Put The Credit Card Down. One of the biggest culprits of holiday stress is money. (Dun dun dun!) All the holiday shopping and gift buying can add up quickly and start to feel like a black cloud over your head. At no point does the tradition of gift buying have to turn into the reason you go into debt. And to make matters worse, we tend to cut down, or completely out, the things that actually our improve our wellness, like our gym memberships. If gift buying is stressing you out and straining your finances, find ways to cut back where you can. Ask your family if you can draw names for gifts, rather than buying everyone something. Try making hand-made gifts if that’s something you enjoy (batch make healthy-ish cookies, or make an ornament or wreath) . Or our personal favorite is making a vow with your girlfriends, or significant other, to do “experience” gifts rather than material things. Think outside the box, and give a little differently this season.
The best advice we can give you is to slow down , listen to your body, and get more comfortable with saying “no.” Both things can be hard and unnatural at first, but the more you practice them, the easier it gets. Cheers to a healthy, happy, and surprisingly sane holiday season this year!