The holiday season can mean a time of high stress for many people. For some people the holiday season reminds them of lost loved ones, for those in college with finals it can overwhelm and anyone with debt or financial problems the idea of having to buy extravagant gifts for loved ones can make the holiday less than a time for festivities.
In addition to gift giving stress we also have holiday parties with too much eating and drinking, putting stress on our bodies and fueling more overall stress.
Don’t let this holiday season bring you down, the following tips can help:
1. Missing Lost Loved Ones
The holidays suck after people die. There I said it. No magic pill exists to take away the pain, especially the first year, however, you can honor them in special ways. Family photos are a great gift to share, watching home movies, talking about the funny things they did, and making their favorite dish to bring to a potluck can also help honor them. The goal is to resect your feelings and doing whatever you have to that feels right, getting drunk and miserable may not be the best option.
2. Finals Not the End of the World
The mere thought of starting school again (YAY Rutgers Coordinated Dietetics Program – BS Nutrition/RD exam eligible) has brought back the anxiety of classes, tuition and test-taking. For those students that have finals all the way until the week before Christmas, during Hanukkah or whatever end of year festival you observe, the idea of coming up with a thoughtful gift may not rank very high or at all. No worries, school-inspired gifts can help educate the masses. Books, science kits, jewelry-making and painting kits can entertain while building a skill for old and young.
3. Not Getting Into More Debt
Setting a budget for each gift can help control holiday spending as can letting your loved ones know that you can’t spend as much as you have in the past. If they have a problem with that then maybe they need a refresher on the spirit of the holidays. Also, by saying something you might be expressing what others feel as well and they may welcome an opportunity to avoid spending money on frivolous items that no one really wanted in the first place. A family grab bag can also help keep holiday gift-giving costs down and fun. Pick a name out of a hat, set a limit and have at it.
4. Healthy Body
To compound the emotional stress of the holidays the body also takes a lickin’ with all the party food and cocktails imbibed. A few ways to ease the overindulging include water between drinks, this way you don’t drink as much, you avoid embarrassing yourself (especially at a work party!), and you have kept yourself hydrating helping to avoid or lessen the hangover. Before you get to a party you can decide to only have a certain number of alcoholic drinks and once you reach that number switch off to non-alcoholic beverages. To handle food intake you can eat a light meal before a party to avoid over-eating. No need to skip dessert, split it with a friend or just have a one bite policy. Take one bite’s worth of everything offered so you can have a taste without feeling like a glutton.
Don’t let the holidays get you down or drive you crazy. Keeping a clear head will help you make better decisions when it comes to gift giving and holiday parties. The spirit of the holiday should make you feel joyous, not miserable.
Have a great holiday everyone!