Five Ways To Keep Stress Low During The Holidays

Even women who aren’t necessarily Type A personalities have a lot on their plates. Careers, children, spouses, entertaining obligations, housework, and the pressure to keep on the ball with all of these aspects of their lives can translate into a ton of stress. We know that stress increases a woman’s risk of heart problems and heart attacks  by around 40%,  so it’s especially important that women do all they can to try to reduce stress. When Christmas holidays roll around, the stress on women can become even more pronounced, because there are added expectations and increased financial stressors, too.

There’s an extraordinary amount of pressure on people, and especially women, to be positive, happy, excited, and festive during the holidays. Add in the stress of planning parties, dinners, gift exchanges, and other festive events, and you have the recipe for a disaster if you don’t keep a handle on the stress to which you subject yourself. Here are five ways to help keep stress low during the holidays.

1. Delegate

You don’t have to do everything yourself. If your kids are grown enough, give them age-appropriate assignment like gift wrapping, exterior decorating, mailing off invitations or Christmas cards, and other duties you don’t necessarily have to do personally. Your spouse can help, too1!

2. Take a Few Minutes to Yourself

Even if it means shutting yourself into your bedroom or even the bathroom for five minutes, be sure to take some time to yourself at least once a day. Preferably you’ll take more than five minutes; book a massage, paint your toenails, or have a nice hot bath to unwind. This can help you when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, and can also help to give you some perspective. Also, don’t forget to make special time for you and your partner to be alone.

3. Say “No.”

Don’t agree to do everything anyone asks of you. Think of yourself as being set apart from yourself: If you looked upon the same scenario where someone else was being asked, would that person take on a new task if she already had too much on her plate, or would she say “no”? Chances are, she’d think of her own needs first. If you have several invitations to parties or events on the same day or night, choose one that you will most enjoy and regretfully decline the other invitations.

4. Set a Budget

To avoid worrying about your finances, set a budget early in the season and stick to it. You don’t have to go all-out; most people remember the good times they had spent with loved ones and friends instead of the food they ate or the gifts they received. Be realistic when you set your budget or else you’ll be doomed to failure before you start.

5. Stick to Healthy Habits

One of the best things you can do for yourself during the holidays is to stick to healthy habits. This includes eating healthy foods and finding time for exercise. Don’t throw your eating plan out the window; if you plan to indulge in treats, do so in moderation and make sure you fill up on healthy foods first so you don’t gorge on desserts. If you can’t hit the gym like normal, try to get out for several brisk walks or a jog.

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