Christmas to-do list

"do you ever feel as though it’s difficult to get in the cheerful spirit with all of the tasks on our to-do lists?"

The Holiday season is upon us! It’s the most magical time of the year, but do you ever feel as though it’s difficult to get in the cheerful spirit with all of the tasks on our to-do lists? If you’re feeling mentally and physically exhausted, you’re not alone. Here is a list to help you manage your stress this coming month and allow you to enjoy, not dread the holidays.

1. As your ‘to-do list’ grows longer and your calendar begins to fill up, you may easily become overwhelmed by all you have to get done. Finding a quiet place to sit for ten minutes is key to relaxing. Sit down, close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Exhale. Relaxing and taking time away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, even if it’s just for a few minutes, will have a positive effect on your mood.

2. Taking time now to plan for the future will be more than worth it in the long run. Letting things pile up and saying “I’ll get to it later” can lead to a buildup of stress. Alternatively, taking the time to do a little every day will lessen the stress you will face when rushing to do a task at the last minute. Write down your shopping list and plan for each gift you need to get and write out your tasks on a calendar. These suggestions will help reduce your overall stress.

3. Yes, the holiday season is all about giving. But with all of this giving, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Going day to day without doing something you enjoy can lead to a formation of stress without us realizing it. Activities such as taking a warm bath, reading, going on a walk, getting a massage, going to physical therapy or hanging out with family and friends can easily get pushed to the side during the busy holiday season. Taking this time will enhance your overall mood and allow your body to get the attention it needs.

4. Because stress has the power to affect you not only mentally, but physically, it is important to get moving. Being active has a huge effect on how we feel. One activity, like yoga, is designed to relax the body through slow movements and deep breathing. When you get moving and exert your body during the day, the body is more able to relax when it is time to go to bed, letting your body fall asleep more easily. Simple exercises like walking, going for a jog, and strength training is an easy and beneficial means of lowering stress.

When taking these suggestions into consideration, you’ll notice the key to stress relief is finding balance. Take a step back, relax, plan ahead, take time for yourself and you will be on track to a stress-free holiday.