It's December and you know what that means; there's decorating to be done, parties to attend, cooking, shopping – not to mention making sure your family gets their flu shots! *wink, wink!* We know its all too easy to get wrapped up in the holiday "have-to's" and forget to enjoy the season, so Briarpatch Pediatrics decided to come up with a list on how our staff handles holiday stress. Here's few tips you can try out this year as Christmas fast approaches, as well as some you can keep in mind for next year, or for any holiday you find yourself stressing over. Happy reading!
1. Give back! The holiday season is a great time to do this; there are so many opportunities to make packages for veterans or overseas military, donate to the homeless or Toys for Tots, volunteer your time at soup kitchens or church events, etc. Its never a bad idea to take time to be thankful for what we have, to try and put our lives in perspective, and to give to others. You never know what positive impact your help could have on someone else's life.
2. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a step back from all the chaos to regroup. Do what relaxes you; bundle up and take a walk on the beach, go for a drive and listen to your favorite album, grab that book you've been wanting to read and actually finish a chapter. Self-care is important, especially when you have a lot to do for the people around you; make sure to leave some time in your schedule to make the season enjoyable for you and your family.
3. Remind yourself not to do the "extra thing." Sure, you could make that extra batch of cookies, hand tie bows onto all your Christmas or Hanukkah gifts, clean the carpets before your big holiday party, and so on. And if you enjoy doing it, that's fantastic! But if the extra details are stressing you out, they're not worth it. Stick to the important stuff, and do the extra when you can. If it takes away from your holiday experience, don't do it!
4. Get moving! Throw on your favorite holiday tunes and do something that gets your blood pumping. Go for a run, try a new cardio workout, or even just break out some gentle stretching exercises to help you relax and decompress. Exercise can elevate your mood, clear your head, and help you to get in a healthy, positive mindset.
5. See the people who are important to you! This is a big one. Whether you're home from college and want to drop by to see old friends, or you're spending time with family you haven't seen in a bit, let your loved ones know how much they matter to you. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or something else, the holidays are a great opportunity to do something special with the people you care about, regardless of if that's sharing a cup of tea and catching up, or doing a seasonal activity, like ice skating, or looking at Christmas lights together.
6. Make time for tradition. If there's something your family does every year, give yourself the time not only to go through the motions of your tradition, but to enjoy it. And if you don't have the time? Don't sweat it. New traditions have to start somewhere, and sometimes that means clearing out some of the old ones. Do what makes you and your family happiest.
7. There's not much that can be done now about getting things done way ahead of time, but we can always plan to beat procrastination next year! Be proactive. Get things done early so you don't have to stress about it once the holidays come along.
We hope this list will help you with your holiday preparations, especially as the season moves into full swing. Remember, don't stress! This season is what we make it, so let's be sure to make it enjoyable for ourselves and our families by practicing self-care, helping others, and spreading peace and joy. Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day. We hope this year holds your happiest holidays yet!