Start Your Week with ASEA: How to get a handle on holiday stress

Holiday stress affects nearly everyone these days. In a study conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Group, 77% of those surveyed say they have a difficult time relaxing during the holidays and end up feeling more worn down than relaxed. Women were more likely to report feeling stressed when it comes to the holidays than men. All participants of the study listed finances, family relations, scheduling, and gift-giving as major stressors during the season. 

With that in mind, here are some tips for staying calm and enjoying yourself over the holidays.

Plan gifts in advance

Taking advantage of year-end sales and doing all your holiday shopping in advance can help alleviate a great deal of worry. Keep a holiday to-do list and think about buying gifts in bulk. Do what you can to avoid last-minute stress and rest easy knowing your gifts will get to their recipients on time. ASEA is having a Get 1 Free sale which can help you buy gifts for everyone on your list and help them look and feel their best. 

Create a budget 

Thinking about money during the holidays can be incredibly stressful. Tracking your spending is an effective tool to help you stay on top of your budget. Create a specific amount you plan to spend on each person. Organize your budget by group, i.e., kids, extended family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Identify financial stressors and make a plan. Write down ways to reduce expenses and manage your money more efficiently. Ordering gifts online can help you avoid buying things you weren’t planning on rather than going to the store. Creating a gift exchange rather than buying for every member of your extended family can save money, too. 

Set strong boundaries

Saying yes to too many events and activities can overload your mental health. Prioritize family first, close friends, then extended family and neighboring events. Friends will understand if you don’t participate in every activity. Make sure you take care of yourself so that you can take proper care of others. Saying “no” is a healthy way to maintain your boundaries and prioritize your health and well-being. 

Maintain healthy habits 

It can be really easy to over-indulge during the holidays. Overeating and drinking tend to ramp up with all the family and friendly gatherings. Ensure enough sleep every night, eat healthy meals during the day, get 30 minutes of physical activity, and avoid excessive alcohol and tobacco use. Vitamin D, a UV lamp, and sunshine absorbed on a daily walk can help you avoid seasonal affective disorder. Taking supplements will help your cells stay in communication and keep you going. 

Reach out for help

Make sure to take time for yourself and find activities you enjoy. Take a break with a meditation or mindfulness breathing exercise once a day. Find something that helps reduce your stress and helps clear your mind, like reading, journaling, or listening to calming music. Seek professional help if you feel persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical problems, unable to sleep, or if you’re feeling hopeless. A doctor or mental health professional can help you navigate healthy ways to treat these symptoms. 

Recognizing your triggers before the holidays ramp-up will help you prepare a plan in advance and feel supported. Financial pressures, scheduling demands, and family relations can be complex. Still, it’s important to find joy in every moment and keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of all the good around you. With a bit of planning, you can stay positive and enjoy the peace and love of the holiday season.