It’s that time of year when there’s one holiday right after another. And for most of us the holiday season can stress us out, and at the end, it can keep us from the spirit of the season and the enjoyment of the festivities- it’s no wonder that so many of us spend the holidays waiting for it all to be over.
A recent survey showed the extent of holiday stress: 65 percent of gen Xers, 62 percent of baby boomers and 61 percent of millennials all reported that they had stressed out over their winter break.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are 4 habits that can give you a head start on preparing for the holidays and help you replace the stress with enjoyment:
- Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
Plan ahead. It sounds simple, but it’s true. This is no time for procrastination. Planning ahead not only helps keep you on top of everything you have to do but allows you to celebrate intentionally, in ways that are meaningful to you, instead of just following along.
- Nurture your body, mind and spirit.
Your body, mind and spirit all require daily care. That means regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating as healthfully as you can, and some form of daily prayer, meditation or another mindfulness practice.
- Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
This is a true saving grace–and it’s one that works throughout the year. Take time to be grateful and you’ll be happier and more centered all day.
The holidays don’t have to get the best of you. Instead, get the most out of what you have to offer by learning these simple new habits–or some of your own–and putting them into practice.
- It’s not a big deal unless you make it one.
Learn to laugh it off. When we make light of things we cast out the shadows. Laughter reduces stress hormones. That, in turn, helps immune cells function better and makes us feel more relaxed. When things get dark, learn to get light and laugh it off.