Humor is a great way to relieve stress. Laughter releases endorphins, natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude. Go ahead. Give it a try. Hang funny photos or comic strips in your work space. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. Who knows? Laugh and the world might laugh with you.
Adding extensive preparations, such as shopping, baking and entertaining, to your usual daily demands can take the joy out of the holidays. Instead, consider scaling back. Focus on the holiday traditions you enjoy most, and skip the rest. Accept imperfections in yourself and in others. Embrace the holiday season with peace and good cheer.
Family tension often runs high during the holiday season. Consider this a time to set differences aside. Try to accept loved ones as they are, even if they don't live up to all your expectations. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress too.
Before the holiday shopping season starts, decide how much you can afford to spend. If money is tight, try these alternatives: Suggest drawing names for a family gift exchange. Make gifts, such as certificates for a home-cooked meal or an evening of baby-sitting. Donate canned goods to a local food shelf in lieu of gifts. Remember, the best parts of the holiday season rarely come wrapped in a box. Treasured memories are the gifts that last.
The holidays aren't an excuse to abandon healthy habits. Some indulgence is OK, but going overboard may leave you feeling depressed and guilty. Plan ahead to manage temptation. Have a healthy snack before holiday meals so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. And continue to eat healthy meals, manage stress, and get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
The holidays can be a stressful time, with many additional events and obligations. Choose your commitments wisely. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and family will understand if you can't participate in every activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
Negative thoughts can feed pessimism and create unnecessary stress. You can learn to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. The process is simple, but it takes time and practice. Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Throughout the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.