Is it really the most wonderful time of year? Woman wearing Santa hat looking stressed.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Holiday Stress is Here

The song says “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, but is it really? We are stressed to the max from shopping for gifts, if you even know what to buy for everyone, to planning parties and family gatherings. We have to decorate and clean the house to get ready for it to be a mess again. STRESS, STRESS and more STRESS is all around us this time of year. It is super important to also take some time to relax!

Illness Added to the Stress

So many people find themselves getting sick during “the most wonderful time of the year”. We are not taking care of ourselves, we are making poor decisions in the kitchen and we are probably not sleeping well because we are thinking about everything that has to get done. All of that leads to our bodies being run down and weak and therefore we are more susceptible to catching a cold or other viruses (not to mention COVID rates ramping up once again). This stress will also cause us to create a hormone called cortisol, which, in excess, can cause several health issues. Here is an article I found that explains how dangerous too much cortisol can be. 

Some Tips to Help You Get Through

1 – Try to keep your daily routine as normal as possible.  If you are exercising DON’T give that up, it’s going to help keep you healthy. If you have a casual evening planned with friends, keep your plans; you need some time to stop thinking about everything that needs to be done and enjoy the company of others. 

2 – Make a list.  Thinking about EVERYTHING that has to get done is overwhelming. Make a list and then prioritize the list so you can get the most important things done first. Crossing an item off of a list is very gratifying and gives you a sense of accomplishment which will reduce your stress.

3 – It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Maybe not every decoration gets put up, maybe not every cookie gets made, it’s okay to not get everything done. Go back to tip #2 and make sure the most important things are done. If something burns during your gathering…laugh about it because getting upset is not going to change it. As the song says “Let it go, let it go.”

4 – Ask for help.  Driving yourself into the ground is not very productive so don’t be shy, ask for help. If you are anything like me you feel that others within your household should see the laundry basket in the living room for a week.  They should know you need help to fold and put the laundry away…BUT THEY DON’T, it’s not a priority to them like it is to you.  Instead of stewing over the fact that they have not done, what in your head you feel they should do, ASK for help!

5 – Eat the cookies. If sitting down with a glass of milk and a couple of cookies is going to help you relax and enjoy the holiday season, DO IT and don’t feel bad about it! The cortisol stress is going to put pounds on you and it doesn’t taste as good as those cookies do!

It can be the most wonderful time of the year

It can be the most wonderful time of the year.  We will gather with family and friends we may not see often and we will see the joy in the eyes of others as they open the gift you painstakingly picked for them. Taking care of yourself during this time of year is crucial, we must always remember our goal is to be healthy BEFORE we NEED to be healthy!

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