Tips for a Healthier and Less Stressful Holiday Season

From Bedford Youth & Family Services:

Bedford Youth & Family Services offers this list of tips to minimize stress around the holidays as well as some holiday affirmations:

1. Gift of Presence:

  • Prioritize spending time with loved ones instead of overly elaborate gifts.
  • Consider giving experiences or homemade gifts that hold sentimental value.

2. Prioritize Self-Care:

  • Set aside time for yourself each day to relax and recharge.
  • Practice mindfulness through activities such as meditation or deep breathing.

3. Set Realistic Expectations:

  • Manage your expectations for the holiday season to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Focus on creating meaningful experiences rather than perfection.

4. Create Boundaries:

  • Learn to say no when necessary to avoid overcommitting.
  • Set boundaries around work and social obligations to maintain a healthy balance.

5. Connect with Loved Ones:

  • Spend quality time with family and friends, emphasizing connections over material aspects.
  • Foster positive relationships and support systems.

6. Plan Ahead:

  • Organize and plan holiday activities and shopping in advance to reduce last-minute stress.
  • Create a schedule to help manage your time effectively.

7. Practice Gratitude:

  • Reflect on the positive aspects of your life and express gratitude daily.
  • Keep a gratitude journal to focus on the good things, even during busy times.

8. Delegate Responsibilities:

  • Share the workload with family members or friends when it comes to holiday preparations.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed.

9. Embrace Imperfections:

  • Accept that not everything will go as planned, and that’s okay.
  • Embrace imperfections and find joy in the moment.

10. Reflect and Reassess:

  • Take time to reflect on the year, acknowledging achievements and lessons learned.
  • Set realistic goals for the upcoming year, considering your overall well-being.

11. Stay Active:

  • Incorporate physical activity into your routine, whether it’s a short walk, a workout, or yoga.
  • Plan active outings with family and friends, such as hiking or playing sports.

12. Balanced Nutrition:

  • Enjoy holiday treats in moderation and focus on a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to avoid overeating.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day.

13. Get Quality Sleep:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule to ensure you get enough rest.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine to promote better sleep quality.

14. Limit Alcohol Consumption:

  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and alternate with water to stay hydrated.
  • Be mindful of the impact of alcohol on your well-being and mood.

Remember, the holiday season is about joy, connection, and gratitude. By incorporating these tips, you can create a healthier and more enjoyable holiday experience for yourself and those around you.

Holiday Affirmations:
These are shared courtesy of For Our Friends, a Facebook group designed to provide support to all those affected by mental illness.

  • I am thankful for today
  • I am grateful for the joy and love that this day has to offer
  • My heart is grateful and my mind is at peace
  • I am full of positive, loving energy
  • I radiate joy, gratitude, and peace
  • Today, I will be present in every moment
  • I pledge to offer my best self today
  • I am in charge of how I feel and I choose joy
  • I find joy in this present moment
  • I will embrace this day as a beautiful opportunity to give and receive love
  • As I move through this day, I desire to spread my light with me wherever I go
  • I move through this day with grace and ease
  • I have the power to make this a beautiful day
  • I effortlessly walk through this day in love and light
  • Today is a beautiful gift, and I pledge to be present and live fully in each moment
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