Here are five suggestions for ways to reduce your anxiety and stress during the holiday season.
- Make plans. We don’t like uncertainty because we like to be in control of our lives. Planning for the future gives us a sense of control. It’s easier at Xmas to spend, spend, spend. To avoid post Xmas anxiety and stress, do some financial planning, and set a strict budget for Xmas gifts and food items. Stay within your budget even if it hurts, because that way you will be certain that there won’t be a financial shock in the post-holiday season.
- Take time out to breath properly to induce calm. You only need 2 minutes to of diaphragmatic breathing to begin feeling calm again. The 7/11 technique is my favourite breathing technique.
- Stop telling yourself you are: ”stressing out” “anxious” “stressed” etc. Why? Because what you focus on, you get more of. When you communicate with yourself or others, say “I’m under pressure”, “I’m feeling challenged”, “I’m excited.” This simple re-frame can have significant impacts on how your body responds.
- Get moving. There is a tendency to stop exercise programs because of all the organizing that needs to be completed, the parties to attend and all the shopping to be done. Maintain your level of activity. When you move you burn off the stress hormones that have built up in your system. Exercise is great for this.
- Give yourself time for you, through such things as mindful meditation, yoga, listening to soft and pleasing music or any type of activity that feels good.
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