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Plan Ahead to Prevent Holiday Stress

Making a to-do list is often touted as a way to gain control over stress. But, a holiday task list that runs over with should-dos may only set you up for an anxiety-filled season.
This year, try these five strategies for a holiday list that promotes health and joy:

  1. Rethink your traditions. Scratch out the holiday rituals you can live without. Think about what stressed you out last holiday season. For instance, if you dislike baking, skip the cookies this year. If throwing your annual party is more stressful than fun, skip it.
  • Get a head start. Start some holiday tasks early if you can. Sending holiday cards can be time-consuming, so start addressing them now.
  • Simplify the shopping. Create a present theme that cuts down on shopping trips. For example, buy everyone different books and get all your presents at the same bookstore.
  • Keep moving. In the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle, make time for a brisk walk or other exercise—it’s one of the best stress-busters available.
  1. Ask for a hand. Don’t be reluctant to ask family members for help. Have them bake, decorate, or wrap gifts for others.

 
Sources
“The Different Kinds of Stress.”American Psychological Association. www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-kinds.aspx.
“Exercise Fuels the Brain’s Stress Buffers.” American Psychological Association. www.apa.org/helpcenter/exercise-stress.aspx.
“Holiday Health and Safety Tips.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/.
“Making the Most of the Holiday Season.” American Psychological Association. www.apa.org/helpcenter/holiday-season.aspx.
“Take Some of the Stress Out of the Holidays.” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/tips/2012-12/taking-some-of-the-stress-out.html.