We often talk about managing holiday stress and anxiety, but have we ever paused to think why?
I was chatting with a group of friends this week about the “holiday stress” and “holiday expectation” and how it seems everyone just wants to “survive the season.”
How (and when) did something so joyful become so stressful?
Have we lost sight of the true meaning of the holiday season?
Are we trying to do all the things to please others and please others’ opinions of ourselves?
Are we just trying to do too many things in a few week time period?
While the holiday season may be short compared to the rest of the year, the long term impact greatly affects our wellness—mood, immune system, adrenals, energy, hormones, patience and more. It’s time to manage your holiday stress and expectations so you can spend time enjoying this beautiful time of year.
So what’s the solution to managing holiday stress?
While I don’t have all the answers, and clearly no one does, by embracing a mindset shift, focusing on what matters most and emphasizing a few holistic wellness techniques, you have the power to calm the holiday stress and anxiety.
Navigating the holiday season does not need to be stressful or a season you anticipate with dread. These tools will help you manage stress during this festive holiday season!
Choose Your Focus Word for the Holiday Season
What do you really want to focus on this season? Only YOU can decide this. Is it time at home with your family around the fire? Is it opening your home to others? This will help you have clear holiday expectations.
I love the concept of choosing a word for the season. It’s a simple way you can focus and recalibrate when you feel overwhelmed or pulled in multiple directions. When you are faced with a decision, you can quickly ask yourself, “does this align with my intention and focus for the season?
My word for the season?
Savor means to: give oneself to the enjoyment of.
To me, savor means to delight in the present. I want to focus on my family, the blessings God has given us and the birth of our Savior, rather than all the “stuff” that comes with this time of year. For me this year, savoring looks like being intentional during the first half of the holiday season so that I can take some time off the second half of the season.
What is your focus word for this holiday season?
Set Clear Holiday Expectations + Boundaries Around Gifting
I truly love gifting, in fact I have a ‘gift shelf’ in my closet, that really has turned into a few shelves! But wow, the gift list and expense can QUICKLY add up. The physical, emotional and financial stress this creates, can negatively impact you for months to come. Is that worth it?
Especially with children, what if we set clear boundaries around gifts with them from an early age? That way they know what to expect and do not get accustomed to expecting more and more. What our children really want is more memories and time, not more stuff. What if you gifted experiences this season rather than things? Think about the positive, long term ramifications of that!
This may spark some uncomfortable conversations with your loved ones. BUT the beauty is, maybe they are feeling the pressure and overwhelm too. There is beauty in vulnerability.
Boost Your Immune System
With increasing stress, cold winter air, decreased sleep and an increase in sugar and alcohol during the holiday season, our immune system can take a major hit. But, obsessing over healthy eating and not enjoying any treats isn’t the best approach either. Focus on adding nutrient dense, immune boosting foods when you can—soups and broths, leafy greens, onions, garlic, warming spices like cinnamon, curry powder and turmeric, ginger, fresh citrus, squashes and nourishing fats like coconut oil, avocados, olives and grass-fed butter.
Make a ‘Yes and No’ List
What can you realistically do this holiday season? And I mean really be realistic. This should (and will) be a SHORT list. You do not need to be running around like crazy, from event to event. Let’s savor this season with intentional additions to our ‘holiday season wish list!’
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is this event or responsibility worth it long term?
- Is what I’m adding to my list in line with my focus? Is it in line with your word for the season?
Add CBD into your routine to manage stress
Our bodies were designed for short intense periods of stress—in modern times, however, stress is constant.
Our bodies, through the endocanabinoid system, naturally produce cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system regulates “a broad range of physiological processes that affect our everyday experience – our mood, our energy level, immune activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, how we experience pain, stress, hunger, and more.”
Stress, of any form both chronic and acute, depletes cannabinoids creating an imbalance in the body’s equilibrium. CBD works both in the short term, to help with sleep, anxiety, depression and pain, as well as the long term to help restore overall balance.
If you are feeling anxious or having difficulty sleeping, CBD can help within minutes, seriously. My go-tos are Daily Drops, Daily Gummies and Mindful Mineral Bath Salts. ‘flourish’ for 15% off your order!
Put your phone down, look up more
Phones and social media give us a dopamine hit. That “urgent” pull and constant scrolling (that’s how the app was created) can bring up feelings of anxiety, comparison, especially during the holidays. This comparison game and constant stimulation can negatively affect mental health. Remember, no one’s life is perfect—social media shows snapshots of moments, not the full reality.
Choose 1 week this Christmas season to be off social media!
Fact is that our immune system, adrenals, mood and hormones all take a major hit when we decrease sleep. Anxiety, depression and overwhelm also increase with lack of sleep. Sleep matters, not just in the short term, but also in the long term!
Yes, the holiday season can be fun but it’s not worth sacrificing our health and paying for that in the months to come.
This doesn’t mean you can’t stay up late to go to a performance or party, it just means choosing those nights with intention!