The holiday season can be a particularly stressful time. Busy schedules, family get-togethers, and added financial pressures can increase the stress of everyday life. Follow these tips to deal with stress during the holidays:
-- Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect everything to be perfect.
-- Know your financial limits and budget your spending. Don’t feel like you have to buy everyone an expensive gift.
-- Don’t try to do too much. Ask others for help when you need it.
-- It’s okay to say no. Don’t feel that you need to accept every invitation you receive.
-- If you’ve recently experienced a breakup, death in the family, or other tragedy, holidays can be especially stressful. Ask friends and family to be understanding if you don’t feel like participating in the festivities.
Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help combat stress. Below is a simple breathing exercise that you can practice at home or work:
1. Sit on the edge of a chair, feet flat on the floor.
2. Place one hand on your lower back and the other hand on your abdomen, with three fingers below your navel.
3. As you breathe in, your abdomen should rise, like a balloon inflating.
4. As you breathe out, your abdomen should fall, with the sensation that the balloon is losing its air.
5. Concentrate on your abdomen, not your chest. Practice from a few minutes to 20 minutes each day. Soon, it will come naturally.