As we wrote a few articles ago, being single during the holiday definitely has its advantages. You don't have to deal with anyone else's family dysfunction, you can come and go as you please, and you can dedicate more time to your close relationships. As much as being single can relieve some of those holiday pressures though, the season is still fraught with the stresses caused by traveling, family dynamics, packed schedules, spending money, overeating - the list goes on and on. If we think ahead though, we can counteract some of that stress and help our holiday season run a little more smoothly and be more enjoyable in the end.
Holiday Stress Busters
1. Sleep. Recent studies have shown just how important sleep is to our health, not to mention our moods. You'll be that much more likely to handle everything with high energy and a positive attitude if you get enough rest. Make this a priority!
2. Plan ahead. The holidays are not a good time to act out your procrastination tendencies; if there's one time of year to plan ahead - it's this time of year! Don't leave your shopping to Christmas Eve, make sure you have enough travel time to get to your destinations without unnecessary stress, and don't pack your schedule so tightly you can't enjoy what you're doing!
3. Set a budget. The tendency is to overspend during the holidays, but we all know the feeling of guilt and a tight wallet come January. Don't go overboard on gifts, be realistic as to what you can afford. You can find thoughtful lovely gifts if you just put your thinking cap on; there's no need for one-upsmanship during a season that's supposed to be about the joy of giving...
4. Moderation is the key. You know your limits, so pay attention to them. This doesn't mean your can't overindulge a little - we're human and we need to burn off some steam once in awhile. But if you're engaging in behaviour that you know you'll regret later and feel guilty about, try to curb it... If you do overindulge however, don't beat yourself up about it - it's not the end of the world and the holidays don't happen everyday!
5. Stay in the moment. Remember that buying gifts shouldn't be a chore, it's about the spirit of giving. You want to show your loved ones that you appreciate and love them, so try to reflect on this while you're shopping. When you're spending time with your family, remember the things you love about them, even if they may be irritating you. Be the conscious one, remember you won't always have these time together, and special times like these need to be cherished.
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