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How to Lower Stress and Calm Down for the Holidays!

Most of us anticipate the holidays with mixed feelings—joy and excitement mixed with dread and depression. Sometimes the negative emotions seem to push out the positive ones. How can we calm down and lower our stress, especially during this hectic time?

Build in some cushion.

Expect delays. Don’t schedule three different visits to relatives in one day, even if you didn’t get to visit everyone you wanted to in 2020. It’s just too stressful trying to get everywhere on time. De-Stress and under schedule this year.

Don’t overspend on gifts.

Don’t spend so much on Christmas that you will regret it in January. Plan to underspend this year.

Lower your expectations. 

Don’t try to achieve that vision you have of the perfect holiday. Get comfortable with less than perfect. Make friends with it. You’re probably not going to get rid of or change that dream of the perfect holiday, but don’t let it run your life. And don’t let it ruin your holidays.

Practice deep breathing

Try the 4 7 8 breathing technique. Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. This completes one cycle.

Practice going slowly. 

Practice not hurrying.

Create a quick sentence you can say to yourself when things fall apart and you are tempted to be stressed. 

Something like “There’s no such thing as perfect.” Or, “It is what it is.” Or, “It’s only a problem if I say it’s a problem.”

Enjoy some quiet time.

Take a long, hot bath, or treat yourself to a massage.

Rather than focusing on trying to “get things done” treat yourself and others with extra kindness during this time. 

Those things on your list will get done (or not) anyway.

Take good care of yourself physically. 

Get enough sleep. Take your vitamins. Drink your water. Eat healthy food. Only eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you have had enough. Take a walk or do some stretches. Learn some body reflexology techniques that will instantly calm you down.