The article below is taken from the Santa Clara County Wellness website. As we enter the Holiday season it seems appropriate to share it.
Surveys taken on the average American indicate that more than 8 in 10 Americans expect their season to be stressful.
Many factors contribute to the stress. We often operate on a busy schedule that gets even busier during the holiday season. More travel, more expenses, more things on your to do list; but coping isn’t beyond your reach.
There are things you can do to make this busy time of year easier.
- Set a budget – Track your spending and keep to it. The holiday season is about family and friends not excess spending or overwhelming debt.
- Set your priorities - You can't do it all. It's ok to say "no" so you can focus more energy on the people and activities that are important to you.
- Have realistic expectations - Keep things as simple as possible so you can enjoy this special time of the year. Focus on the experiences with your loved ones and not on the perfect decor, table setting or holiday dinner!
- Make memories with your loved ones. They will remember the love, support and cheer long after they’ve forgotten about a purchased gift. Try alternative gifts, maybe a family photograph, a homemade treat or special one-on-one time with that best friend where you do something fun together.
- Try volunteering or giving to those less fortunate. You might find personal gratification that lasts beyond the holidays.
- Rest and relax - Take time off from having a hectic holiday party season. Instead, allow yourself to kick up your feet, take a meditation class, go to a museum, or work on craft projects.
- Maintain your daily routine. Keep sleep hours, physical activity minutes and eating times as normal as possible. Stepping too far out of your routine sets you and/or family members up to be more frazzled and stressed by the hectic season.
- Seek out help if you do feel blue or anxious. Talk to someone that you trust.
My take: A budget is easier talked about than actually done. Setting priorities is a little easier to. I love to write things down and then make check marks. Realistic expectations comes down to accepting yourself as your are and others as they are, rather than comparing to some idealistic illusion. Making memories is important. It is not about how much money you can spend. Volunteering and giving to others is a great way to make the holiday season memorable. Resting and relaxing is something I don't do enough of during the holidays. I do try to maintain my daily routine.