Got Holiday Stress?

The holiday season brings with it a dizzying array of demands – decorating, shopping, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few. Add on family and school obligations and stress easily becomes an unwelcome holiday guest.

We sat down with Waldorf Associate Professor of Wellness/Department Chair Kristi Leonard to ask her for tips on how to avoid the stress that comes with the holidays. Kristi shared the following tips to help students make it through these stressful weeks.

  • Maintain healthy habits.  Be physically active, get sufficient sleep and eat a nutritious, healthy diet.  Before attending events where a lot of tempting food will be present, curb your hunger with a healthy snack.
  • Reach out and enjoy friends and family, but at the same time, know your limits and don’t overextend yourself.  It’s OK to say “no” at times.  Saying “yes” to everything may leave you feeling overwhelmed and resentful.  Be particular about the activities in which you choose to participate and attend.
  • Make and adhere to a budget.  Before you shop, decide how much money you want to spend…and stick to it.  You can show your thoughtfulness in ways besides large, expensive gifts:  donate to a charity in someone’s name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.
  • Don’t expect perfection from yourself or anyone else.  Recognize your stressful holiday triggers.  Be proactive in planning ahead and deciding how you will combat them.  Be positive and enjoy the spirit of the season as well as time w/ family and friends.
  • Evaluate your holiday traditions.  They certain have value, but circumstances in your life over the past year may warrant changes.  Be open-minded, flexible and willing to compromise.

We’d love to hear your tips for avoiding holiday stress. Share them in the comments below.

Author: Claire Stewart

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