While holidays are a season of joy, many people suffer more stress than usual. Much of this holiday distress may stem from unrealistic expectations. “People often feel that they have to match or surpass the holiday experiences of previous years; if we don’t meet those expectations, we feel like failures,” said Tony Jurich, PhD, Kansas State University professor of family studies and human services.
Help your clients relieve holiday stress with the following mindful suggestions.
Simplify. Instead of trying to do too much, focus on a few things and do them well. For example, follow a maintenance training program rather than trying to make performance improvements or weight loss goals. Focus on continuing the process of training.
Avoid Overindulging. Enjoy holiday food and drink in moderation. Avoid binge eating on holiday favorites, and learn to savor small bites or taste samples.
Maintain Routine. Follow your regular eating, sleeping and exercise routine as much as possible. Keeping your biorhythms consistent helps reduce stress and sadness, according to Rajnish Mago, MD, director of the Mood Disorders Program at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.
Minimize Shopping Stress. Observe how you spend your time. Check out online shopping or gift-card giving to save yourself time. Use the extra moments to keep up your exercise routine, the best stress reducer available.