by Kelly Fliller

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year – a time for giving to others, being with loved ones and family traditions. While this time of year brings happiness and joy, it can also lead to stress and depression. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining (the list goes on), can make anyone feel overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to minimize stress during the holidays and maximize happiness!

  1. Set a budget – We can’t deny that food, parties and gifts are a big part of the holiday season. Along with that comes an increase in spending which can lead to an increase in stress. Set a budget ahead of time and stick to it. There are also some great homemade gift ideas online which are not only cost effective, but fun to make with kids, friends and family. Check out this list of homemade holiday gifts from Pinterest.
  2. Volunteer or donate – Giving gifts always brings me more happiness than receiving them. Shopping and wrapping can sometimes become a sport (although I’m terrible at wrapping gifts)! But like I said, what really feels good is giving to others. Perhaps instead of buying a gift, you can donate to a charity in the name of a family member or friend. Or, gather up your favorite people and volunteer at a soup kitchen, toy drive or other organization that needs help. Giving time, kindness and help to others will not only make them feel good, but will lift your spirits as well. Check out Volunteer Match for a list of volunteer opportunities near you.
  3. Phone a friend – If you are feeling stressed, sad or lonely during the holiday season, pick up the phone and call a friend. You don’t have to keep your feelings to yourself. Seek support from a friend or family member that you trust. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. They can even help you check items off your holiday to-do list – which is always better to do with a friend!
  4. Keep up healthy habits – it’s easy to get so busy you forget to take care of yourself. Stick to a healthy diet (with the occasional holiday treat!) and drink lots of water. Keeping up with your exercise schedule will also help reduce stress. For me personally, running is my favorite way to clear my mind and recharge my energy!
  5. Take a break – When you are feeling overwhelmed or tired, it’s okay to take a break! Do something that makes you happy whether it’s watching your favorite TV show or going for a walk. Maybe it’s taking a few minutes to shut off the TV, computer and phone and quietly meditate. Don’t know where to start? Here is a list of 2017’s top meditation apps. Download, press play and you’re on your way to total relaxation.

With a plan in place, good people, and a positive outlook, you can skip right past the holiday stress and straight to happiness and fun.

Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season!

 

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