7 Tips For A Stress Free Holiday

We all strive for a stress free holiday. But the reality is that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can bring excitement and happiness to some, but to others it can trigger anxiety, stress and even depression.

What causes Stress over the Holidays?

Holidays can be wonderful and relaxing however, travelling can be very stressful. Especially if you’re faced with bad weather, dealing with airports, or travelling with small children.

Spending time with family can be piles of fun or, it can trigger anxiety for many different reasons.  Sometimes not seeing your family or missing your kids when it’s their other parents turn to spend Christmas with them can be really hard!

A Full Calendar
The holiday season brings people together which can lead to a full calendar. When you’re used to having one or two events a month and are now faced with one or two events a week, it can be feel overwhelming.

Financial stress
Spending beyond your means for Christmas gifts not only causes stress on your wallet but on your body as well.

The stress of trying to find the perfect gift and create the perfect dinner can lead to burn out.

What Happens to our Body when we are Stressed?

A stressful state can cause:

  1. Eat Healthy when you Can

    Holidays come once a year, and relaxing and enjoying a few special meals throughout the holiday season is an important HEALTHY part of your nutrition plan!  That being said, during the holidays we tend to stray from our regular routine more frequently, which can make us feel yucky!  Although it can feel difficult to follow your regular routine, do your best to eat your normal way on most meals. Try to eat that healthy meal first thing. A nutrition-packed smoothie full of magnesium and zinc and/or some eggs in the morning can top up those minerals that are vital in helping us deal with stress and set us up for better energy over the course of the day.  Kate says, “If I am staying with friends or family over the holidays I always turn up with groceries so that I’m easily able to follow my normal routines for most meals.”

  1. Plan ahead & Say “NO”

    Plan your calendar carefully so that you don’t overbook yourself and practice saying “No”. Decide what you can handle in a day/week and stick to it. Say no to the rest. If it’s difficult for you to say no, use a statement like “I need to check my calendar”.  This will give you time to gather your thoughts and say no in a manner that feels good to you.

  1. Set a budget and stick to it.

    Make a gift-giving list. This will allow you to allocate a specific amount of money to each person on your list without breaking the bank. An alternative to this is to make this holiday a no-gift Christmas. Put the focus on gratitude and celebrating everything that life has brought you to this point rather than what else you need.

  1. Exercise

    Exercising moves energy. Weight training, HIIT, walking and yoga can help reduce hormones related to stress such as adrenaline and cortisol. Exercise also increases endorphins that make you feel good. Instead of driving to the store, walk to the store or do a yoga class in the morning.  Kate says, “When I travel, I research the local yoga studios and boutique gyms, I love getting a few workouts in a new space while I’m on holiday!”

  1. Relaxation Techniques

    Breathing exercises, light yoga, meditation, creative work like writing, music or art, aromatherapy and massage are all forms of relaxation techniques. Breathing techniques are great when you’re in the moment and you need to find calm quickly, while writing, meditation, and yoga can be scheduled into your daily routines.  It can sound a little silly, but setting a timer for even 2-3 min and just breathing slowly and deeply can really reset your system, clear your head and reduce stress!

  1. Sleep

    Sleep restores us so it’s very important to get enough sleep- especially in stressful times. Some basic principles of better sleep are to reduce the room temperature, make sure it’s dark, remove all electronic devices, avoid heavy meals before bed, try to stick to a sleep schedule, and avoid caffeine.  That being said, it is so common for Moms/Parents to sacrifice their sleep on family holidays to make sure little ones don’t disturb each other or the rest of the house.  Try to pre-plan sleeping arrangements that will foster good sleep for everyone in the family, you probably need the rest more than anyone else!

  1. Perfection is a Lie

    Women in particular can put so much pressure on themselves to make everything perfect and magical for the family.  Remember what really counts. Loved ones, health and being together. It’s not about the perfect gift, it’s not about the perfect meal. It’s about being with the people you love and staying present. Dinners and gifts will come and go, but memories of loved ones will stay with you forever.

We hope you found these tips helpful and bring you one step closer to a stress-free holiday.

Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season!

If you’d like help with your health and fitness over the holidays and into the new year, contact us HERE for a free consult!