December has its share of extra stress. Healthy eating habits are out the window. There’s depression, financial concerns and general bah-humbug-ness.
To avoid all of that, start new traditions that could help relieve holiday stress and make the season healthy, happy and worth remembering.
When holidays become too much, your physical health is affected if you may put aside healthy habits. Stress can put more demands on an already-stressed body.
Tips on staying physically healthy:
- Don’t do too much. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy.
- Share the workload. Let everyone play an active role, including your guests. Make holidays a family affair, so you’re not burdened with all the work.
- Establish priorities. Hard to believe: you can’t do everything. Hard to do: say “no” to some demands on your time.
- Simplify life. Be less elaborate. Relax your housekeeping and holiday preparations.
- Exercise. Don’t let your regular regimen lapse.
- Eat healthy foods. Limit high-fat holiday treats. Serve healthy food with a flare at your family’s holiday party or work gathering.
If you believe something is lacking in your holidays it’s easy to become overwrought.
To create traditions that help level your emotions consider:
- Asking yourself if you really enjoy all the rituals. Perhaps they’re habits, so adopt less elaborate traditions of holidays past.
- Scaling down on gift giving. You may be surprised that others agree.
- Postponing that annual party until after the holidays. This gives you time to prepare and helps with post-holiday letdown by giving you something to look forward to afterwards.
- Getting out around people if you can’t be with family. Plan to be with friends. Volunteer to help others.
Oh, what about the kids?
Children are vulnerable to all the commercials and advertising flying at them from all angles. Help them have realistic expectations about gifts, an even-paced holiday season and loving family traditions.
A few suggestions:
- Spend more time with your kids. Entertain less. Attend fewer parties that exclude children.
- Watch less television. Do more activities as a family.
- Include the kids in all preparations. Let them help you decorate and bake, even if it means your creations aren’t perfect.
- Teach them how to give. Adopt a needy family and have your kids help prepare a meal for them. Suggest they buy a gift for an underprivileged child with their own money. Ask them to donate one of their gifts to a less fortunate child.
- Teach them that gifts don’t have to be tangible. Trade intangible gifts with each other, like helping with homework, washing dishes or walking the dog. Let them come up with their own ideas about what they can offer.
Do you have an idea for a healthy, stress-free holiday? Share it with us in the comments section.