5 Tips To Better Handle Holiday Stress

The holiday season is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, to take some time off work, or even escape for a winter getaway. For all the joy and fun, though, so comes the stress.

Managing Holiday Stress

The expectations of social events, gift shopping, and entertaining guests can become too much for even the most festive types. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association 8 out of 10 people expect to experience an increase in stress over the holiday season.

With stress comes a greater risk of anxiety and depression, and reports from the Mayo Clinic show that depression is frequently an unwelcome guest over the holidays.

All is not lost however, there are many ways you can minimize your stress and anxiety to allow you to truly enjoy the season.

Set A Budget

Shopping can be fun, but spending money isn’t always easy, and Americans spend almost a $1,000 every holiday season on gifts alone. It’s unavoidable, but you can minimize the damage by setting a budget and sticking to it.

A lot of the stress that we experience during the holidays is due to financial pressure and the Mayo Clinic suggests that setting a budget can be beneficial to your stress levels. Work out how much you can afford to spend on food and gifts, and stick to it.

Exercise

The American Heart Association wants you to stay active all the time, but it’s extremely important to keep that up during the holidays. Any activity or exercise you can fit in will help reduce your stress and elevate your mood. It’s going to stimulate endorphin production and trigger a positive feeling in your body.

You might be busy, but if you can find time to exercise for half an hour three times a week, you will feel better. You can go walking or jogging, swimming or biking, play sports, and find time for aerobics.

Take It Easy

The American Psychological Association reminds us that we need to take time for ourselves. There are parties and gatherings and we are constantly surrounded by people. It’s great to be with the ones we love and laugh about the old days.

You shouldn’t miss all those great times, but what you should be careful of is setting unrealistic expectations. You can’t do everything, and it’s okay to take time out for yourself, even if it’s just 15 minutes.

Stay Smart

The holiday season is a time of indulgence, but as the Mayo Clinic directs- it doesn’t mean you should abandon your healthy ways. There’s no need for a free for all that will just add to your stress.

Enjoy yourself, but try having healthy snacks before holiday gatherings so you don’t over snack while you’re out. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep, as you are more likely to overindulge after a poor night’s sleep.

Choose Your Battles

We all have someone in our circle that rubs us the wrong way. It’s only natural- not everyone can always get along. Allowing someone else to get under your skin, though, is only going to ruin your holiday and increase your stress levels. Learn to pick your battles, and don’t take the bait.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you have a real problem with someone, set it aside and save it for another day. Even the calmest people can lose their cool during the holidays.

Bottom Line

Self-care is conscious choice and this is even more true during times of more stress, such as the holiday season. Make sure to take the time and create a deliberate plan! Remember, the holidays are supposed to be a time of fun, family and relaxation, don’t let stress interfere with this great time of year.

 

 

Inspired to be an American on Independence Day

U.S. has had an amazing history. From the war for independence that seemed impossible to win, to the rise of America to a global power, to selecting the first black president. Nowadays, it seems though our country is experiencing troubling conflict.

News stories every day bring to light obvious visible distress. Yet, we feel extremely fortunate to be  American. We have the freedom to fundamentally speak what we want to say, to worship where we decide and to work where we like. As patriotic people, we choose to believe we still live in the best country in the world. Clearly, there are actions we must take to improve.

American flag surrounded by fireworks

Here are some little-known facts about our country’s early period and one of our favorite holidays, Independence Day.

  • Thomas Jefferson created the initial draft of the Declaration of Independence on his “laptop.” It was literally a piece of wood, smoothed and buffed, and cut to just the right size to fit on his lap.
  • John Adams wrote to his wife that we would celebrate the occasion on July 2nd (when the document was submitted, but it wasn’t approved until the July 4th) with parades, bonfires, fireworks, chiming bells, shows and more. So, at the signing of the Declaration, 4th of July 1777, the colonists celebrated despite the fact that they didn’t know if they could actually win the war.
  • They printed 200 copies of the Declaration in those early years.  But now only 27 are known to exist. Check your great grandparents’ attic and meet me at the Antiques Road Show!
  • Ben Franklin wrote to a family member expressing his disappointment in the vote that identified the bald eagle as our national symbol. He thought the eagle had a terrible moral character and the turkey would make a better symbol. If this had been the case would we be eating fish on Thanksgiving Day?
  • The Declaration of Independence has been an inspiration for other countries which also desired their own independence. Countries like France, Greece, Poland, and Russia used it as encouragement to follow their parallel path.
  • The 4th of July is the most popular day in the U.S. to consume hot dogs. Nearly 155 million hotdogs are consumed that day alone! Does anyone else picture the hotdog eating competition sponsored by Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island? Can you imagine dipping 70 hotdogs in water and chowing down?
  • And finally, the tune of the national anthem was originally for an English drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.” (Anacreon was a Greek poet well known for writing songs about wine and love.).  Francis Scott Key originally wrote the lyrics to the song in 1814 aboard a ship that was in a battle during the War of 1812.

As you grill your hotdogs this July 4th and explode your fireworks, take a little time to appreciate what came before us to allow us to have the right to celebrate this 4th of July.

We at Flexicrew wish our country always flourishes and celebrates many more years of independence. Wishing you all a very happy, safe and blessed independence day!!

Tell me, what about our past, present, or future inspires you?