Health & Wellness Articles

11 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

How to Make Time for Yourself During This Busy Season

By Megan Patrick, Staff Writer         
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4. Focus on Others. Instead of getting wrapped up in gift giving, baking and other holiday obligations, find a way to give back to your community this year. You might choose to volunteer at a toy drive for underprivileged children or help out at a local food bank. Instead of fighting crowds at the mall, you could be doing good for others and for yourself. There are many benefits to giving back for your own health and well-being.

5. Choose a Charity Gift. Another great way to avoid the mall or hours of online shopping is to give charity gift cards to friends and family. You can buy cards and certificates from sites like TisBest, JustGive and Network for Good that allow the recipient to donate the money to the non-profit of their choice. That way you and your family can feel good about supporting causes that are important to each one of you.

6. Don't Skip Your Regular Workouts. It's easy to find extra time in your schedule by cutting back on gym visits or afternoon walks, but because exercise is such an effective form of stress relief, all you'll be buying yourself is exhaustion and added worry. By the same token, don't try to beat holiday eating by ramping up your workouts to unrealistic levels. Instead, enjoy holiday treats in moderation and focus on sustainable fitness goals. If you want to add some extra calorie burn to your regular cardio (in a short amount of time), try some high-intensity interval training.

7. Boost Your Immune System. There's nothing more stressful during the holidays than coming down with a cold or the flu. To protect yourself during the winter months, make sure you're getting ample fruit and vegetables in your diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and washing your hands regularly. And get a flu shot to protect yourself from the most common strains of the flu virus.

8. Be Flexible. Instead of trying to pack multiple family celebrations into a single day or weekend, create your own schedule for festive gatherings when it's more convenient for everyone. For example, if you celebrate Thanksgiving with one side of your family, invite the other side over a few days later to celebrate leftovers day. Everyone can bring leftovers or a new dish to share. You can eat up all the extra food while it's still good and spend time with the people you love in a less formal setting than a sit-down dinner.
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About The Author

Megan Patrick Megan Patrick
Megan Lane Patrick has been a professional writer and editor for the past 16 years, and was a chronic dieter for at least 30. A combination of weight-loss surgery, mindful eating and daily exercise finally allowed her to maintain a weight loss of more than 100 pounds. When she's not lifting weights at the gym, you can find her walking shelter dogs as a volunteer for the SPCA.

Member Comments

  • Love the idea of taking a day off during the week. Just wondering if I can stretch it to two ;)

    I have some friends I've been having a cookie swap with for over 30 years. About 10 years ago we decided to quit giving each other gifts. Instead, we draw names and buy a toy that reminds us of that person. We wrap it up and at our party, we get to have the joy and fun of unwrapping a gift and laugh about why that particular toy was given! We then donate the toys to Toys for Tots or another charity. - 12/5/2015 9:17:58 AM
  • Learning to say no is my biggest problem. I'm finally starting by not singing in as many concerts. Musicians have no relaxing time during the holidays. We go from rehearsal to rehearsal, then performance to performance, and finally Christmas Eve services. Once that is over, we can collapse. In years past, I was lucky if I got some decorations up. - 11/25/2014 10:30:32 AM
    My reaction to articles like this is always the same. "How did we get in this mess in the first place?" There was a time in the dim reaches of history (say, 50 years ago) when Christmas was fun but not a six week long orgy of spending, eating and frenzy.

    I'm guessing one of the first steps we can take to get out of said mess is to turn that %$@*^ television off. It's nothing but a direct phone line from the National Retail Federation to our cerebral cortex and we need to hang up. If you can't turn the thing off, work that mute button when commercials come on. That's what the mute button is for. - 12/15/2013 6:28:20 AM
  • Thanks for all the great advice. - 12/7/2013 4:40:23 PM
  • Thanks so much for all the lovely tips. The charts are especially terrific references to keep for future use. Keep up the good and timely sharing.

    vicki - 12/15/2009 12:12:20 PM
    Great guide, thank you! - 12/9/2009 7:15:17 AM
  • these are good things to remember for christmas thank-u - 12/8/2007 12:16:43 PM
  • there certainly is something for everyone here!!! Noone is left out of Holiday ideas! - 12/8/2007 6:02:00 AM
  • WOW, lots of ideas to stay SLIM and start January 1st way ahead of the game!!! - 11/27/2007 9:43:52 AM

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