It is the hap, happiest time of the year. Except when you have 45 holiday parties and 12 family obligations in 10 days and a Christmas ham costs a mortgage payment. Despite this being one of our favorite seasons, it is a busy time with a lot going on. We will lay out some tips to try to reduce the stress and pressure going into the
1) Keep your good habits. Sugar cookies and eggnog (while enjoyable) tend to add up, staying with a workout routine, yoga, or even frequent walks can mitigate the caloric density of everyone's favorite holiday treats.
2) Be kind to yourself. You can only be in one place at once. Getting pulled in all directions is not a great feeling. Commit to what you can and it is ok to say no to what you can't. Be present in the moment with the events that you do attend.
3) Control what you can control. Ultimately you have control over 2 things in life, your thought and your actions. Uncle Bob want to start a political fight at the dinner table, your daughter refuses to get in the family picture, your toddler screams their little lungs out about a Christmas sweater.....the only thing you can control is your thoughts and actions in the moment (not speaking from experience on any of these).
4) Christmas budget. Umm the price of everything tripled. Going to the grocery store is now a game of "how bad do I want it". Setting a budget ahead of time for gifts can take out the stress and risk of spending more than you originally wanted.
5) Sleep. Holiday parties, late nights, soooo many Hallmark Christmas movie marathons is all a recipe for poor sleep during the holiday season. Poor sleep increases anxiety and affects your immune system. Try to still plan for adequate sleep to stay healthy and happy during the season. I also promise the ball will drop whether you see it or not.
As we get into December, have a safe, happy, healthy holiday season.
At least you're not a cotton headed ninny muggins!
Dr. Ben Kraft