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It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

Between cooking, cleaning, and entertaining guests, Christmas can hardly feel like the most wonderful time of year. It’s a mad dash from Black Friday to New Year’s Day to see who comes out clean on the other side. Stress is a natural part of the process, but how you manage it can mean the difference between missing the mark or coming out on top. Signs that you might be having a stress overload include headaches, high blood pressure, becoming easily agitated, and insomnia.

Here are 5 common scenarios people find themselves in over the holidays and how to successfully manage your stress this holiday season:

Putting up decorations

Christmas enthusiasts plan their decorations months in advance to ensure they are perfect. However, that does not mean everything will go up without a hitch. Always make sure you have multiple hands on deck to assist when needed. Having a helper will avoid injuries and get the job done faster. It is also smart to keep duplicates of Christmas decorations on hand. In the event something breaks, or a bulb goes out, you will have the exact match to continue your project.

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How to Stress Less: Avoid stress for years to come by properly storing your decorations. Something as simple as storing your lights on a winder can make unraveling them much easier year after year. Start decorating earlier so that you do not feel overwhelmed closer to Christmas time, just don’t cross that line and decorate before Thanksgiving!

Managing the crowds

Whether you are navigating an airport or a retail store, crowds are an unavoidable nuisance during the holiday season. When flying this time of year, try to identify when non-peak times will be so that you will not be bombarded while you are trying to get to your gate. This will help you stress less and save money for other holiday needs. If you plan on driving, map out all the major cities along your route and try to get through them at low traffic times.

How to Stress Less: When it comes to shopping, getting a majority of your items online gives you the ability to browse without having to fight through crowds and stand in long lines. Most retail stores offer the same discounts both in-store and online. There are also some coupon codes that are only available to online shoppers and can help you save a few bucks during checkout. If you do have to visit the retailer, go as soon as they open, or right before close, to bypass large crowds. Prep for your holiday dinner in the weeks leading up to the holiday to avoid gridlocks at the grocery store.

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Getting supper on the table

Feeding all of your friends and family may seem like a daunting task, but the right appliances can simplify cooking your holiday meal. You can make sure your meat is cooked to perfection with the Range cooking thermometer for your iPhone or iPad. Simply plug the Range into your headphone port and insert it into your meat or baked good. It sends instant updates on your food’s cooking progress so you never have worry about over- or under-cooking again.

How to Stress Less: Crock-Pot has recently come out with a “Smart” Slow Cooker powered by WeMo. It allows you to connect all the functions on your crockpot remotely through the WeMo app. This means that you can start, stop, and change the temperature on your slow cooker from virtually anywhere. For this function to work properly, it is important to have an internet provider that offers internet speeds over 15Mbps or you may risk your slow cooker disconnecting from the internet and not responding to your app when you need it. By switching to smart appliances, you will be able to be out and about running important holiday errands, wow your guests with amazing dishes, and have dinner on the table with no problems.

Finding the perfect presents

Not sure what present to get everyone this year or worried you might go over budget? Shopping for family and friends during the holidays, though paved with good intentions, can be a stress in and of itself. You might be clueless of what to give a new love interest in your life or frantic about how to give your parents something different from the gifts you gave them last year and the year before. Well stress no more because companies like Target and Amazon make holiday shopping a breeze.

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How to Stress Less: Both sites offer daily discounts for a wide variety of gift items. Download Target’s Cartwheel app to your smart device and save up to 50% on presents for friends and family. Amazon also has great deals starting on Black Friday and continuing throughout the rest of the year. You are able to filter by age, gender, department, and price to narrow your search, and with Amazon Prime you can continue to order all the way up till Christmas Eve to get your presents on time.

Entertaining 101

If you are hosting the holiday festivities at your house, it can be an extremely stressful couple of days leading up to everyone arriving. In order to prepare, it is important for you to take time to relax before all of the madness so that you feel refreshed. Make a to-do list and stick to it so you can spend less time trying to remember everything. It is important to begin preparing as early as possible so that you leave time for any errors.

How to Stress Less: Early preparation may consist of shopping, booking hotels and flights, decorating, and taking Christmas card photos. For the day of, you can create a Christmas playlist and light holiday-scented candles to make your house feel warm and inviting.

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Remember; it’s OK to stress out during the holidays. Just make sure you don’t let the holiday madness get to you!

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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Julie Knight

Content Writer

It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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