How To Have A Stress Free Christmas
Even the most festive types, a stress free Christmas can be a challenge with the expectations of social events, gift shopping, and entertaining guests. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association 8 out of 10 people expect to experience an increase in stress over the holiday season.
The hormones cortisol and adrenaline surge into your bloodstream each time you experience any amount of stress. These two hormones tell your body to preserve energy, in the form of stored fat. With stress comes a greater risk of anxiety and depression, and reports from the Mayo Clinic show that depression is frequently an unwelcome guest over the holiday season. Stress will also raise your blood pressure and your heart rate which causes increased risk of stress on your heart.
All is not lost however, there are many ways you can minimize your anxiety to have a stress free Christmas.
5 Tips To Enjoy A Stress Free Christmas
1. Don’t Forget To Exercise
The American Heart Association wants you to stay active all the time, but it’s extremely important to keep that up during the holiday season. Any activity or exercise you can fit in will help towards a stress free Christmas and elevate your mood. It’s going to stimulate endorphin production and trigger a positive feeling in your body. You might think you’re too busy to exercise , but if you can find time to exercise for half an hour three times a week, you will feel better. You can go walking or jogging, swimming or biking, play sports, and find time for aerobics.
2. Set A Budget
Shopping can be fun, but spending money isn’t always easy. It’s unavoidable, but you can minimize the damage by setting a budget and sticking to it. A lot of the stress that we experience during the holidays is due to financial pressure. The Mayo Clinic suggests that setting a budget can be beneficial to your stress levels. Work out how much you can afford to spend on food and gifts, and stick to it.
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3. Stay Smart
The holiday season is a time of indulgence, but as the Mayo Clinic directs- it doesn’t mean you should abandon your healthy ways. There’s no need for a free for all that will just add to your stress. Enjoy yourself, but try having healthy snacks before holiday gatherings so you don’t over snack while you’re out. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep, as you are more likely to overindulge after a poor night’s sleep.
4. Choose Your Battles
We all have someone in our circle that rubs us the wrong way. It’s only natural – not everyone can always get along. Allowing someone else to get under your skin, though, is only going to ruin your Christmas and increase your stress levels. Learn to pick your battles, and don’t take the bait. If you have a real problem with someone, set it aside and save it for another day. Even the calmest people can lose their cool during the holiday season.
5. Take It Easy
The American Psychological Association reminds us that we need to take time for ourselves. There are parties and gatherings and we are constantly surrounded by people. It’s great to be with the ones we love and laugh about the old days. You shouldn’t miss all those great times, but what you should be careful of is setting unrealistic expectations. You can’t do everything, and it’s okay to take time out for yourself, even if it’s just 15 minutes. If you do a whole lot of hosting, make sure you delegate- whether you ask everyone to bring a different dish, or you rope in family to take on certain tasks.
You Can Enjoy ‘Sinful’ Christmas Treats
The holiday season is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, to take some time off work, or even escape for a winter getaway. For all the joy and fun, though, so comes the stress. And while our bodies are under stressful conditions, it stores fat even though we have regular access to food. But with the right ingredients, you can turn “sinful” stress-relieving treats like brownies, cupcakes, cheesecake, donuts, and even moist carrot cake into a delicious fat-burning desserts. This Free Fat-Burning Cookbook provides 23 metabolism-boosting baked goods recipes for ‘guilt-free’ Christmas treats.