Christmas movies, songs, and greeting cards portray the holiday season as a joyful time of peace and gladness, but this isn’t always reality. When you consider the added time commitments and expenses associated with the holidays, it’s no surprise that you’re spread too thin this time of year. Add the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 to the mix, and you may be at your wit’s end. Improve your mental and emotional health this holiday season by following these seven tips.
- Set realistic expectations: Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 holidays will probably not be like last year. Try to keep a few traditions, but be open to making changes to protect your family’s health. For instance, you may choose to share pictures, send texts, and meet virtually via video calls rather than gathering in person with long-distance relatives.
- Stick to a budget: Many households have a smaller-than-usual Christmas fund this year. Convey this to family and friends, and excuse yourself from gift-giving if necessary. You may also consider baking cookies or offering your talents in lieu of traditional presents.
- Schedule your time wisely: Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, and other holiday activities in advance. As your schedule fills up, learn to say no. The goal is to avoid making so many commitments that you become overwhelmed.
- Maintain good habits: It’s easy to let your healthy lifestyle fall by the wayside during the holidays, but certain habits are important for your mental and emotional health. That’s why you should continue to eat healthy meals, get plenty of sleep, and exercise daily.
- Allow for some indulgences: During the holidays, it’s fun to eat food you only make once a year. There’s nothing wrong with sugar cookies, eggnog, or pumpkin pie—as long as you enjoy these treats in moderation. Allow yourself to indulge without feeling guilty, but learn not to overdo it.
- Take a break from it all: Stress may send you into a downward spiral, making you feel like you have no time to take a break. This attitude leads to burnout, which leaves you depressed and constantly overwhelmed. Even if you think you don’t have time, take a 15-minute timeout. Go for a walk, practice meditative breathing, or listen to relaxing music to clear your mind and restore your inner calm.
- Get a massage or chiropractic adjustment: Common symptoms of holiday stress include muscle tension, headaches, body aches, and difficulty sleeping. A relaxing massage or chiropractic adjustment might be just what you need to de-stress and give you the energy to tackle the next task on your holiday to-do list.
Chiropractic care and massage therapy from Effective Integrative Healthcare can help you lower your stress level all year round. Our healthcare professionals have the skills and experience necessary to help you live a low-stress, pain-free life. For help devising your personal treatment plan, please schedule a free consultation at our Crofton, Millersville, or Lanham, MD location today.