According to a survey conducted by Healthline.com, an online resource for health and well-being information, more than 60% of respondents said they feel some level of elevated stress during the holidays. The primary causes include finances, healthy eating/exercise, picking the “right” gift, and scheduling.
From juggling family obligations to finishing up end-of-the-year projects at work, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when the holiday season is upon us and a new year is just around the corner. That’s why it’s important to take time to focus on maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit so you don’t burn out. Here are a few quick tips to remember.
- Know your stress triggers
Whether its work, family, finances, or a combination of several factors, it’s important to identify your holiday stress triggers early. From setting aside a few dollars of every paycheck to working ahead at work, there are a variety of proactive steps you can take to be prepared and impact the severity of stress during the holidays.
- Get mentally prepared for work
From last-minute projects to end-of-the-year reporting, the holiday months can be an extra busy time at work. One technique to help ensure you’re mentally prepared for the holiday workload is to practice meditation, which has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve cognition.
- Take time for yourself
Yes, the holidays are supposed to be about family, friends, and togetherness … but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to plan a little time for yourself. According to Psychology Today, alone time comes with a range of benefits, including improved concentration, time to think, and an opportunity to simply “reboot your brain.”
- Get a flu shot
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting an annual flu shot, especially for pregnant women, young children, and older adults. Although it’s effectiveness can vary from year to year, and it’s possible to contract the flu virus even if you’ve had the shot, the flu vaccine is still one of your best bets for staying healthy or reducing the impact of the flu during the holiday season.
- Say “no” to—or at least share—the holiday treats
As mentioned above, the holiday months are notorious for weight gain. And it’s no wonder why! From treats at the office to treats at holiday parties to treats from family and friends, we’re surrounded by heavy meals and sugary confections week after week. So, it’s important to learn how to put your foot down and say “no” to the onslaught of goodies the holidays bring.
- Be proactive to stay active
And as hard as it’s going to be among the holiday cookies and turkey, stuffing, or Christmas ham, make a commitment to stay active throughout the season. Jump start your resolutions now by getting into an exercise routine that will make it easier to stay healthy through the holidays and start the new year off on the right foot.
- Make a point to visit old friends
According to the Mayo Clinic, research has shown that friends are good for our health. From boosting happiness and self-worth to coping with stress or mental health, friends play a key role in maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. And what better time to reconnect than the holiday season?
- Attend holiday services
For many people, the holidays, and most specifically Christmas, are a hallowed time. A poll conducted by LifeWay Research found that six out of 10 people typically attend church at Christmastime, and 57% said they would if someone invited them.
- Focus on giving
It’s no secret that, to most people, giving feels good. And during a time nicknamed the season of giving, the holidays are often full of opportunities to take some time from the hustle and bustle to focus on giving back. In fact, research has shown that giving can have a significant impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.
How do you stay healthy in mind, body, and/or spirit during the holidays? Let us know in the comments section below.