Updated: Oct 30, 2020
by Dr. Jen Caudle
Does this time of year get you so excited that you decorate EVERYTHING while singing
“Fa la la la la," or do you instead turn into a holiday grinch? Regardless of which one you are the holidays are bound to bring along a little stress. Here are some ways to minimize- and even prevent- this stress:
1) Pick and Choose- This season you will have many invitations to attend gatherings large and small. Yippee! This is what the holidays are for, right?! But too many holiday festivities can make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Instead, decide which holiday parties you want to go to and stick to your plan. Don’t be afraid to decline other gatherings and if you feel bad for doing so (it happens) simply schedule intimate get-togethers with those folks after the holidays.
2) Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees- Your parents probably told you this- and it’s true. Which is why you shouldn’t feel the need to overextend yourself financially during this holiday season. Finances are a MAJOR source of stress, so avoid this stress by setting a budget and sticking to it. Instead of gifts that break the bank, think of creative cost-effective ways to celebrate and gift-give this season. Homemade cookies or baked goods and DIY gifts (check out Etsy or other sites for ideas) will not only make your gift recipient happy, but will make your wallet happy as well.
3) Ask For Help- You don’t need to do it alone. That’s right. Putting up the tree, decorating the house, cooking the holiday dinner, preparing for holiday parties shouldn’t be your sole responsibility. Ask for help! I always say, “team work makes the dream work!” Get your partner or kids involved, ask your family to bring dishes potluck-style for the holiday dinner, hire help for your holiday parties or simply consider scaling back so you don’t get overwhelmed. Most importantly, don’t go it alone!
4) Don’t Booze It Up- The holidays are a time filled with food and libations! But even though indulging in food and drink may feel good at the time, it can totally wreck havoc on your body which can increase stress levels. Don’t overdo the booze- not only does alcohol disrupt sleep (further making the holiday season stressful), but it can have negative effects on your heart and other organs in excess. Too many holiday cookies and casseroles aren’t good either and can exacerbate underlying health conditions like Diabetes, congestive heart failure and other conditions. Trust me- staying as healthy as possibly will make the holidays- which are stressful already- a little easier.
Remember, the holidays are all about peace, love, joy, family & friends and so much more. Managing stress will help you stay happy and healthy so you can enjoy this holiday season.
Dr. Jen Caudle
Dr. Jen Caudle is a Family Physician, Associate Professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. She appears on TODAY, NBC Nightly News, Dr. Oz Show, Fox News, HLN, the Rachael Ray Show + others. Sign up to receive her free health newsletter and follow her on social at www.drjencaudle.com . Subscribe to her YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/drjencaudle.