Surviving the Holidazeee

With the Holidays right around the corner, it’s important to get your mind and body ready for the festivities, family gatherings, and food! This time of year is filled with hustle and bustle, errands and holiday parties. While fun, the non-stop celebrations can cause stress, fatigue, and potential meltdowns if not aware of how the holiday grind may be affecting your wellbeing.

Here are a few tips to handle the Holidazeee (i.e. the intense feeling of being overwhelmed, stressed, and in great debt!)— by paying special attention to your mental and physical wellbeing as you prepare to conquer this Holiday season.

Get up and get out! Remember, making time to exercise over the Holiday is crucial to remain sane and relaxed. A pulse of endorphins from exercise can motivate you to finish those errands, and make that final holiday call to your in-laws (that you’ve been actively putting off). Additionally, holiday meals tend to be heavy, with many sugary dessert treats to follow. It’s important to stay aware of how these foods affect your mind and mood, as fats and sweets can drain your energy and increase feelings of stress. Even if it’s a quick walk around the block, a little exercise can be very helpful in maintaining balance during holiday feasts and festivities.

Prepare little by little, and early. Instead of waiting till the day of festivities to cook, wrap, and entertain, try doing a little each day leading up to the Holidays. Getting a few simple tasks done a head of time, like 2-3 gifts wrapped each day, can help ease the tension and the last minute panic.

Sometimes, “less actually is more…” Don’t try to do too much leading up to the Holidays. Fatigue can lead to disappointment and crushed holiday spirit. Using lists and setting time limits on shopping excursions and errands is key in not overdoing it. Prioritize parties and gift giving, and only do what’s high up on the list. And, always delegate when you can! Doing less may actually bring you more enjoyment, spending time on the people and activities that are most important to you.

Practice patience. Holidays are never without their fair share of family quarrels and challenges. If someone tends to get under your skin over the Holidays, stay ready for it, to prevent it from really pushing your buttons. Try to forgive the little things, and accept the fact that we can’t change who we are related to. What we can control is our patience, our forgiveness, our acceptance, and the own love we share back to others. If things really get uncomfortable have an exit plan in place; run an errand, take a walk, shovel the snow, do something that can buy you a little time away to rejuvenate.

Be ready! The post-holiday slump is real; so be cautious! The months leading up to the Holiday are filled with hustle and bustle. Endless shopping, mingling, parties, and more. Yet, when all of this suddenly comes to a halt, say January 2nd, it’s back to work and family routines. This may cause your mood to slump and your body to feel extra lethargic. Recognizing this, it’s important to stock up on healthy snacks and hydration to fuel your mind and body through the post-holiday grind.

If the Holiday stress is already getting to you, here are a few quick, actionable fixes:

1. Take a quick whiff of citrus. Research on depression suggests that citrus fragrances alleviate stress by increasing levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. So, if feeling stressed or down in the dumps, put a little lemon or orange essential oils on your wrists and take a whiff all day long.

2.  Squeeze the fleshy place between your index finger and thumb, known as the hoku spot in Chinese medicine. Applying firm pressure for 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body—so take a good squeeze, and a deep breath in moments of holiday craziness.

Bottom line is— don’t forget to care for yourself this holiday season. While the fun and games are enticing, it is important to take time for you, doing things that make you happy and healthy.