Whoever said that the holiday season was the happiest time of the year never juggled in-laws, dealt with schedules overbooked with parties or felt bloated and tired. Let’s face it: The holiday season forces us to stretch our wallets, overindulge in things we know aren’t healthy, mingle with people we don’t really like and deal with exceedingly long lines, crying children and tinny music at the store.
In many ways, the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day have the potential to be the most stressful time of the year.
This doesn’t have to be the case, though. Just like everything else in life, you have at least minimal control over how the holidays will affect the way you feel and act. This year, make a commitment to actually enjoy and appreciate the holidays for what they are rather than letting them stress you out. Here’s how:
1. Prioritize. Before we even have a chance to hit Halloween, think about what you are most looking forward to about the holidays ahead. Do you appreciate the intimate evenings with your immediate family or is this the season to help those in your neighborhood who need it most? Keep those priorities in mind as you begin making plans, and don’t let those things that hold the greatest importance to you be lost in the holiday shuffle.
2. Just say no. Keeping those priorities in mind, don’t be afraid to say no to party invites, requests to cook for social functions or pleas for money to help any number of worthy—but wallet-draining—causes. The honest truth is that you can’t do it all—none of us can. Instead of stressing out about it, accept the fact that there just aren’t enough hours in the day or dollars in the bank account to please everyone.
3. Set a spending limit. Before you start shopping, set a budget and stick to it. You can’t buy happiness with gifts, so don’t even try. To cut back on spending, consider doing a gift exchange or making gifts instead. You may also decide as a family to donate what you would spend on presents to a worthy cause instead.
4. Keep expectations reasonable. We live in an age of advertising overkill, high-speed technology, blended families and financial stress. That Hollywood image of Dad, Mom and their two smiling children drinking eggnog beneath a perfectly manicured Christmas tree doesn’t exist. We tend to get sentimental around the holidays, and when the “magical” moments we’ve imagined don’t happen, it’s often a letdown. It’s perfectly okay to want a happy, memorable holiday season, but gently embrace that sentimentality instead of clinging to it.
5. Don’t disregard health. With the packed calendar and plates of chocolate, cookies and candy, it is incredibly easy to set aside your regular workout regimen and eating patterns for the holiday season. Make a commitment to yourself now to stick with your healthy habits over the holidays. You can still enjoy the occasional treat, just don’t overindulge. If you struggle to make it to the gym, take a few brisk laps around the mall before you begin your shopping. Be sure to see your local wellness chiropractor on tips to get healthy and stay healthy throughout the next few months but also the year!
The Chiropractic Lifestyle is a excellent way to get healthy and stay healthy!
This holiday season will threaten to be as stressful as the last but don’t let it be. Take control now — before the madness begins — Any Man, women or child is welcome to come into my office this season for a Chiropractic Wellness Checkup. My office will make your families first visit very affordable! ‘Tis the season to make this season the best one yet!
Dr. Jon Wise
Gorkin, Mark. Holiday Stress: Fact or Fiction. StressDoc.com. Retrieved September 24, 2010 from http://www.stressdoc.com/holiday.htm.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Stress, Depression and the Holidays: 10 Tips for Coping. MayoClinic.com (October 20, 2009) Retrieved September 24, 2010 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH00030.