It is that time of the year again. For some, just the thought of being on holiday gets them excited to no end. To another set of people, it is all about the beautiful decorations and colourful lightings. For so many, the season is all about shopping, and visiting relatives. And to yet some others, it is all about cooking, eating, drinking and making merry.
No matter the category you belong to, there is a very big chance you are among those that will end up getting stressed out by the end of the Christmas season.
Stress is something we all associate with work. Ironically many of us equally get stressed during the holiday season where we are supposed to be recovering from work-related stress.
Does that mean your holiday should be spent holed up on an unknown island where you will spend 23 hours a day sleeping? Of course not! Below are eight ways we can cope with the stress that comes with the Christmas season.
- Reduce financial stress by working with a budget.
Starting from the very popular black Friday it is understandable that you may have gotten your mind conditioned to buy everything you can this season. If you do however, there is a great chance that you could be broke and experience lots of financial stress at the beginning of the year.
Be the exception and make your budget for the season ahead of time. Refuse to follow the trend to buy every attractive thing you see. Instead, create a budget and work with it.
- Breathe in deeply before you respond.
Breathing is one of nature’s solutions for stress. Make it a habit to take some deep breaths before you respond to situations that would normally stress you out. You can decide to count to 10, 20 or 50 in your mind before responding in such cases. Doing this will not just relieve you of stress; it will help prevent it in the first place.
- Talk to others.
One of the easiest ways to cope with stress is to talk to someone. Talking works by distracting you from your stressful thoughts and releasing dome of the already built-up tension. For a lot of people, talking to a friend will work for them.
But for some others, there is need to seek professional help. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or harbouring suicidal thoughts, then you really need the help of a professional counsellor or a psychic.
Talking things through will help you put your problems into perspective, find solutions to them, and relieve you of stress.
- Eat healthy and Avoid Drugs
Eating a lot of junk food, caffeine, and carbonated drinks may feel good at the initial stage. But they have drastic consequences. Reduce the use of refined sugars. Instead of alcoholic drinks and caffeine, drink more of water, natural juice and herbal tea. That way, you will keep yourself hydrated and healthy.
- Make Out Time to sleep and Rest
The Christmas period comes with a lot of activities. Make sure you don’t get so carried away that you forget the importance of a good night’s rest. Make out time to rest and relax everyday no matter what your schedule is like.
Avoid caffeine if it hinders your sleeping. Also minimize all mentally demanding tasks just before going to bed. Take a shower too. This will help put you in a restful mode so that when you sleep, you will wake up refreshed and well rested.
- Learn to say no
I used to be a people pleaser, and I always felt guilty if I say no to a request. Because of this, I usually get myself stressed up many times during the Christmas period by accepting to do so much within that short holiday. Over time however, I learned how to become more assertive.
Presently, I say no to unimportant requests or to additional responsibilities that I can’t handle. This has helped to reduce my stress level in no small way.
If you are still finding it difficult to say “no”, out rightly, practice letting people down gently with phrases like this:
“I am sorry but I cannot handle that now as I have other responsibilities.”
“I would have loved to, but I am so sorry I can’t because…”
Or you can just say, “No!”
- Delegate more
Personally I get stressed each time I find out that I have so much to do within a short period of time. And when I do, it is overwhelming.
We all have the same 168 hours. Many times you may have a lot on your plate, and just thinking about it is enough to get you stressed.
At times like this, learn to delegate. It is very easy to do, and many people will be willing to help you out especially because it is Christmas.
- Deliberately Engage in a physical activity
If you start feeling stressed, go for a walk and take in the fresh air. Let some sort of physical activity to become a part of your daily routine. And let it be regular. For instance, you can go for a walk after every lunch time. Or you can decide to stroll and walk the dog every evening by 6pm.