Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Overcoming Anxiety at the Holidays

Photo: Psycharity

Even the most calm and organized among us can become overwhelmed with the extra obligations and demands the holidays bring, but overcoming anxiety and holiday stress is simple if you follow a few tricks.
Plan a budget and stick to it. Nothing causes more stress than racking up those credit card bills and stewing over how you will pay them after the holidays. Whatever your finances allow in the way of gift giving will be more than enough. Although the holidays have become overly commercialized, gift giving isn't the intended purpose of the celebrations.
Plan ahead. Undoubtedly there will be parties, school concerts and other engagements. Mark them on the calendar and decide when the agenda is full. Realistically, you'll never be able to attend every function, and it will reach a point when you'll have to start declining invitations. Running from place to place, trying to fit everything in, will quickly lead to a decline in your sanity.
Leave yourself plenty of time for shopping. Last-minute shopping with droves of bickering customers will wreak havoc on anyone's nerves. Start making purchases well in advance of the holidays, and avoid trips to the mall during peak shopping hours. Use the Web to shop and eliminate the stress of the mall altogether.
Remember to eat properly. Although you may be pressed for time and needing to grab meals on the go, your body still needs proper nourishment. Ensuring you're providing your body a well-balanced diet will help preserve your mental state.
Employ the help of others. You may be feeling the pressure of trying to accomplish everything yourself. Arm your spouse with a list, and send them into that jungle to pick up some items. Put your kids to work, and allow them to decorate, wrap gifts or whatever else they are capable of. You're only one person, not a super hero.
Don't overextend yourself. At this time of year it is nice to be generous by donating your time to a worthy cause, but there has to be a limit. As long as you keep obliging, they'll keep asking. Do your part and trust others will do theirs. Helping those in need is a noble quality, but, when it becomes all consuming, you can quickly burn out and become frazzled.
Allow yourself some down time. No matter what your busy schedule entails, your well-being is important, and you deserve some time to relax. Scheduling yourself for a massage is the ultimate stress eraser. Soak in a nice warm bath, or lay on the couch and read a book. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as your focus is totally on you.
If you're hosting a large gathering, don't attempt to prepare dinner for the multitudes on your own. Spending three days in the kitchen preparing the perfect meal is beyond stressful. It verges on insanity. Assigning everyone who's coming a dish to bring will make your life simpler and alleviate plenty of anxiety.
Celebrating the holidays should fill you with the joy and spirit of the season, not stress and anxiety. Ensuring you retain your peace of mind during this chaotic time will see you emerge from the holidays as jolly as Old Saint Nick himself.



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