The holidays can be a magical time full of joy and cheer. The twinkling lights, the gifts, the parties, and all your favorite foods should be a time that makes you happy.
Unfortunately, it also can easily become a time of stress, frustration, anxiety, and even depression for many people.
That’s why LadyBoss has created a handy guide packed with tips and tricks to help you navigate the demands and expectations without buckling under the weight of holiday stress. Our goal is to help you enjoy this time with friends and family without breaking the bank, losing your temper, or gaining an extra 10 pounds.
By shifting your thoughts away from the food and instead prioritize yourself and what’s truly important, you can carve out 10 minutes each day for yourself. That way you can enjoy the holiday season more, freak out a little less, and actually, lose weight.
Holiday stress not only increases your chance of gaining weight but also decreases your chance of connecting with your friends and family. Use our helpful collection of holiday stress tips for managing the holidays. These tips are designed to put the focus on you and reduce, or even eliminate, holiday stress!
Set Realistic Expectations
Plan, Plan, Plan: Shopping without a plan is like walking into the grocery store hungry. We all know how that turns out. We buy more than we need. Holiday shopping is no different. Set a budget and stick to it. Determine who you need to buy gifts for and put your budgeted amount next to each name. Have an idea of what you would like to buy before you go into the store and get sidetracked by the holiday displays. Keep your plan on your phone, the notes app works great.
Stock Up: Stock your pantry with a quick healthy appetizer and a quick dessert you can bring to any party if you are in a pinch. Keep your food simple but display it beautifully. Examples of simple appetizers include sliced veggies and hummus, reduced-fat cheese and gluten-free crackers, or shrimp with cocktail sauce. Check out these easy recipes that every crowd will love. Keep desserts simple, too. Pair chocolate hummus (yes, there is such a thing and it is delicious!) with fruit, or bake a big pan of brownies.
Make a List: Make a list of the Top 5 things you would like to happen during the holiday season. It may be going to see the lights or getting together with friends and family. Put these things on your calendar and work to make at least one happen. Don’t be disappointed if not everything works out, but feel gratitude when you do one of them. Let go of expectations and make room for the experience.
Say No: You can’t be everything and do everything for everyone. Today say NO to at least one thing. Saying no to what you can’t do, or what you don’t want to do, allows time to do what you really want. It also relieves stress. You don’t need to give a reason for saying no. Saying no is enough, but do it graciously. You can say, “thank you for the invitation, but I won’t be able to make it,” or “thank you for thinking of me but my plate is full.”
Take Time for Yourself
Breathe: Yes, take 5 minutes and breathe. Deep breaths in and out. Breathing deeply is your secret weapon for dealing with stress because it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Try it right now. Take 5 deep breaths. Really fill your lungs. See! Don’t you feel better already? Use this simple technique throughout the holiday season to combat stressful moments.
Count Your Blessings: Where your focus goes, your energy flows. Focus your energy on the good things in your life by taking a few minutes and writing down 20 blessings. Let me start you off with 1. You are alive! That in itself is a huge blessing. Finish off your list. When you start running out of ideas look at your surroundings. The simple things in life like the sun, freshwater, music, and more are all things to be thankful for. Spending time in gratitude will not only lift your spirits, but it will also reduce your stress.
Tea Time: Drinking a cup of warm tea reduces stress in many ways. Tea contains antioxidants that help your body combat the body’s version of “rust.” Tea, especially green tea, is known to help with weight loss. During the holidays we can use any help we can get. Not only does tea help the body, but the act of sitting down for a few minutes will relax you too. Try this great recipe for Peppermint Tea.
Get Your ZZZZzzz: Adequate sleep is my #1 stress management tool. Being overly tired increases negative energy and makes the smallest of tasks seem overwhelming. A lack of sleep makes you crave comfort foods, especially sweets, to help increase your energy. Start turning off all technology at least an hour before bedtime. Give your mind a chance to stop thinking. If this is a common struggle for you too, LadyBoss® REST is your solution to falling asleep peacefully and staying asleep every night. You’ll get your zzzzzz!
Eat Healthy and Exercise
Get Sweaty: Exercise is a natural stress reducer. A quick, 10-minute workout not only makes you more productive during the day by giving you more energy, but it also helps you sleep better. If you are pressed for time and don’t have a quick exercise routine, the LadyBoss® Pocket Personal Trainer workouts are perfect. You can do as many rounds of the workout as time allows. No equipment is needed and you will get the stress-relieving benefits.
Catch Some Rays: Even if it is cold, step outside and get 5 minutes of sun on your skin. Soaking up the Vitamin D will help you build stronger bones, improve your sleep, improve your mood, and give you a healthier immune system. Roll up those sleeves and soak it in!
Double Up On Your Veggies: We all know that eating veggies is good for your health, but what you may not know is their superpower for fighting stress. When you eat veggies, your brain produces serotonin, which can help regulate your blood pressure. Help drop your blood pressure a few notches by doubling up on your veggies today. If you need some great recipes for veggies, try the LadyBoss® Pocket Personal Trainer, free for 7 days!
If you’re still feeling holiday stress, download the full LadyBoss Stress Free Holidays game. You’ll find 30 more tips to help you conquer holiday stress and enjoy the season.