Many people have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. Sure, the dinner parties with family and friends are a lot of fun, and everyone around the office is feeling a little cheerier these days. But as your calendar fills up and the to-do lists grow longer, it can be hard to savour all of the moments this time of year brings. Here’s your guide to getting through the holidays while staying happy, healthy and stress-free.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Get ahead of the holiday chaos by making lists of your priorities. Not only will this help you feel in control, it will help prevent last-minute scrambling so you can make the most of the holiday season. Think about how great you’ll feel if you get your gift shopping done before mid-December – not only do you get to avoid crowded malls as the holidays draw closer, but you’ll gain some extra “me time” when everyone else is running around.
Do Less, Enjoy More
Accept that there are only 24 hours in a day and practice smart time management. Learn to say "no" by declining some invitations or shortening the length of visits. Think quality, not quantity. Make sure to set aside some fun activities for the immediate family, too! Try ice-skating, a night of board games or your favourite holiday movie.
Create New Traditions
If doing something just because that’s the way it’s always been done is stressing you out, consider inventing a new tradition that works better. You may be at a point in your life where maintaining a tradition (such as hosting 30 people for dinner) isn’t realistic anymore. Create new ways to find meaning in the holidays, and know that changing things up doesn’t have to make them any less special.
Don’t let your exercise routine take a back seat during the holidays. Exercise can help act as a stress-reliever and provide a distraction from your worries. Aim for 30 to 45 minutes, three to four times a week. Even just getting outside for some fresh, crisp air and a walk in the sunshine can do wonders to lift your mood.
We can’t always control the circumstances around us (too many commitments, sick kids at home, in-laws staying at your place over the holidays), but we can control how we view those situations. There are going to be days when things can feel stressful and overwhelming, but there is always something – no matter how small it is – that we can be grateful for. Despite the chaos of the holiday season, take a moment at the end of each day and acknowledge something positive and specific that brought a moment of joy to your day.
Put Yourself on your Priority List
Set aside some “me” time to do something that you love. Enjoy your favourite hobby, take a bath or go for a manicure. Use this time to take care of yourself in whichever way you choose. Giving your mind and body a break from the stresses will give you a chance to relax and recharge.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: sleep is vital to your health and well-being. This holds true especially during times of heightened stress. Aim for seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. Keep in mind it’s not just the amount of sleep that’s important — you also need to establish regular sleeping hours. Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day, including weekends. For a deeper, more restorative sleep, you can also supplement with melatonin.
Take Your Supplements
Many Canadians deal with stress on a daily basis, and the holiday season only serves to increase our stress levels even further. For additional anti-stress support, it’s wise to add a B Complex to your daily supplement regime. The eight B vitamins play a key role in energy production, but high stress levels cause the body to use these vitamins faster than normal. The result is that by the time the holidays roll around, you’re already feeling worn out.
Vitamin B12 is one of the most important energy-producing nutrients in the B vitamin family. Jamieson Vitamin B12 Energy Spray is a fun and easy way to take this nutrient. Packaged in a small bottle that easily fits into a purse or briefcase, the spray has a delicious natural peppermint flavour (perfect for the holiday season!) and you can easily customize the dosage by adjusting the number of sprays you take.
Stay healthy, but enjoy your food too
A lot of people stress about their diets around the holidays because it’s so easy to over-do it with all the parties and extra treats lying around the office. There’s nothing wrong with watching your waistline, but sometimes that can cause a lot of stress too. If you really enjoy egg nog, or can’t resist a slice of your grandmother’s homemade pecan pie for dessert, don’t knock yourself out over it. Life is too short not to enjoy some indulgences this holiday season.