Here Come the Holidays! – 5 Tips for Not Stressing Out

by | Oct 31, 2011 | Health & News | 1 comment

When you think “holidays” does your stress level shoot through the roof?  Yes, the “holidays” should be a time of relaxation and quality time spent with friends and family.  But why does this time often feel ‘not so jolly’?

Many of us, in an effort to make the “perfect” holiday, might feel overwhelmed with the parties, shopping, cleaning, baking and entertaining, just to name a few.  It seems like we already had enough items on our “to do” list and now we are adding even more?  No wonder the holiday season brings increased levels of stress, depression and puts a damper on our sexual desire.

According to a recent on-line survey, when asked, “How Stressful is the Holiday Season For You? “, 42 % responded, “very stressful”, 38 % “somewhat stressful” and 18% “not feeling stressful at all”.  Wow, 80%  of Americans in this poll feel “somewhat” or “very stressed” during this festive season which begins with Thanksgiving and continues through the New Year.

Would you be interested in some practical tips that can minimize the stress and depression that accompany the holidays?  And, also spark up some holiday heat?

We all can relate.  The holidays are closely approaching and already our heart rates have jumped 20 beats… and unfortunately, that’s not from exercising or being physically intimate with our partners!  It’s from the thought of anticipated shopping, entertaining, gift buying, family gatherings and added expenses straining our budgets.  Yes, the holidays can bring visions of sugar plums and gingerbread, but they can also bring increased relationship turmoil, conflict, stress and tension.For us to allow more joy during this season, we need to recognize common holiday triggers, so we can disarm them before they lead to a meltdown.Here is a list of the 3 most common triggers:

1) Relationships.

Tensions are often heightened during the holidays putting an added strain on your relationships, both with your partner and your family.  Many times, gathering all of the family members  in a closed area leads to unwanted misunderstandings and conflict.2) Finances.
We all would love to buy amazingly generous gifts for our friends and family, but financial restrictions won’t allow for it.  The holidays put an added burden on our budget with the added gifts, travel, food and entertainment.3) Physical Demands.
All the shopping and parties can leave us exhausted and feeling wiped out.  Usually your sleeping hours are compromised creating a vicious cycle with feeling exhausted and increasing your stress.  Chores and errands may take a higher priority than exercise and sleep.  To make matters even worse, by burning the candle at both ends, we make ourselves more susceptible to colds and flu infections.But, believe it or not, you CAN make the holidays more jolly with less stress and more fun!   By following the following “Five Tips to Prevent Holiday Stress”, we can enjoy this festive time, with our families and our partner.1) Be realistic – You are NOT Wonderwoman!
Yes, we may want to think that we are Lynda Carter, but we are not.  As women, we tend to multi-task and during the holidays, this talent can reach its peak.  We juggle more and more things until we can’t take it anymore.  Well, stop juggling!  Take a few things off your “to do” list, start delegating tasks to your partner and your kids, and start saying “NO” to projects that you don’t want to do.  And remember,  not everything has to be perfect—Martha Stewart is not going to check up on you!

2)Speak your feelings.
Express your stress and let it out.   Let your partner in and don’t shut him out.  Share what you’re experiencing and allow yourself to be vulnerable.  Many times just  by voicing our fears, they can feel less threatening and overwhelming.

3) Don’t break the bank – stick to a budget.

The most precious things in life don’t necessarily need to cost a fortune.  Before you head out to the department stores and grocery, decide how much money you can afford to spend and then stick to your budget.  Homemade gifts, like framed photographs, can bring back wonderful memories and be priceless!4) Maintain healthy habits – this means diet, exercise and physical intimacy.
Be mindful of what you eat at holiday parties.   Your body is your palace so treat it like one!  Also, by maintaining a healthy sex life during the holidays, you will strengthen your immune system.  Studies have shown that healthy sex increases the body’s natural production of antibodies, specifically levels of immunoglobulin A ( IgA) which are the first line of defense in helping fight against widespread infectious diseases such as flu and cold viruses.5) Take time for yourself and your partner.  
Spend just 15 minutes alone without distractions.  Take a night-time walk with your partner and gaze at the stars.  Take some deep breaths.  Cuddle and more… What better way to ward off those nasty flu and cold viruses than turning on the holiday heat!
Got an idea that helps you ward off holiday stress?  Please share it!  Leave us a comment below…