A Better Way to Holiday: Tips To Survive Seasonal Stress

Let’s be honest, December, with all of its festivities, can be downright stressful. It often brings extra social and financial obligations, and after all of that, who has time to stick to healthy eating and daily exercise habits?

But before you give up on those healthy routines, you may be surprised to learn that by taking care of yourself, stress is oftentimes easier to manage. And let’s not forget, holidays are for enjoying, not for surviving. So, this holiday season, try some new traditions that may help ease the season’s stress and make your holidays healthy and happy for the entire family.

Physical Health

When the holidays become more than you bargained for, your health can be compromised. And stress can put extra demands on your body. Here are some tips on keeping up your health during the holiday season:

Don't do too much. While that may be difficult to define, if things are beginning to feel more like obligations, rather than celebrations, it may be time to take a break. Give yourself some time to relax—seriously.

Share the workload. Let everyone, friends and family, play an active role. Make the holidays a social affair so you're not burdened with all the work. And often times people enjoy helping.

Set priorities. You can't do everything, no matter how hard you try. Say no to some of the demands on your time. Keep in mind, there will always be another opportunity next year.

Simplify your life. Be less elaborate this year. Relax your housekeeping and/or holiday preparations.

Continue to exercise. Don't let your regular routine lapse. Exercise is something that provides a break from the craziness of the holiday season and will serve as a great way to relieve stress.

Eat healthy foods. While we all have our favorite holiday treats, make sure to keep portion control in mind. Furthermore, look for healthy varieties of some of your favorite dishes.

Your Emotional Health

It's easy to become overwrought this time of year, especially if you believe something is lacking in your holiday celebration. Here are some ways to create new holiday traditions that will help level your emotions:

Ask yourself if you really enjoy all the rituals. Perhaps they have merely become habits. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm alternatives with family and friends as some of them may feel the same way.

Don't be afraid to scale down gift giving. That doesn’t mean that you can’t give thoughtful, meaningful gifts, but often times setting a realistic budget will help ease the stress. You’ll likely get a lot of support.

If your yearly party is too much to handle, put it off until after the holidays. This will give you more time to prepare. It will also help ease post-holiday letdown by giving you something fun to look forward to.

If you can’t be with your family, get out around people. Plan to be with friends or volunteer to help others who also may be separated from their families.

Happy & Healthy Kids

Children are especially vulnerable to commercial stimuli during the holiday season. But basically, all kids really need are realistic expectations about gifts, an even-paced holiday season and strong, loving family traditions. Here are some ways to make the holidays special for your children:

Spend more time with your kids. Entertain less and go to fewer parties that exclude children.

Watch less TV and do more things as a family. Have a craft night or try playing a holiday themed game.

Include your kids in all preparations. Let your children help you decorate and bake, even if it means your creations aren't perfect—the memories you’ll make will be worth it.

Teach your children that gifts don't have to be tangible. Trade intangible gifts with one another; this can include helping with homework, washing the dishes and mowing the lawn. Let your children come up with their own ideas of what they can offer.

Your Source for Holiday Health

When you’re enjoying the festivities of this special time of year, the last thing on your mind is medical care. But if a dreaded cold strikes, or even something more urgent, you shouldn’t have to wait to make an appointment.

And with the ease of online scheduling, you don’t have to. You can make an appointment any time, in the comfort of your own home with just a few simple clicks.  ChoiceOne Urgent Care, a partner of Gwinnett Medical Center, is also available every day to ensure that you receive expert care when you need it most. 

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