Most everyone experiences some level of stress during the holidays. Last minute shopping, agonizing over whether Uncle Pete will get along with Uncle Bob at the Christmas party, and wondering if everyone will like your homemade cookies can lead to stress. But if we stop to think about it, most of our holiday stress is self-created. However, understanding our angst is self-inflicted doesn’t make it go away. A plan of action is needed to fight holiday stress.

10 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress

Take a Hike

I mean literally. If you follow me on Facebook, you know how I love my time on the trails. Do you know why? Because it’s calming, it relaxes me, and even during Indiana’s dark winter I occsaisionally get to see the sun. 30 minutes of hiking can relieve eight hours of stress.

Exercise

So, okay hiking isn’t your thing, then get yourself to the gym. Don’t excuse yourself from working out because you’re too busy with the holidays. Take a 30-minute break every day to exercise, and the stress relief will help you be more productive not less.

Just Say No

Too many folks overschedule this time of year. It’s okay to politely say no. You don’t have to attend every event, do you? And if you’re worried an event may be stressful, don’t go.

Don’t Forget to Laugh

Have some fun. Do things that make you giggle. Watch a funny holiday movie, go caroling with friends, or tell a holiday joke. “I told Santa you were good this year and he hasn’t stopped laughing!” —Holiday Jokes. Check this out The Health Benefits of Laughter

You. Are. Not. Perfect.

So don’t expect to be  perfect and don’t expect others to be perfect. Loosen up and take it easy on yourself. This isn’t life or death. It’s the holidays. It’s a time to enjoy family and friends not to fret over your imperfections.

Ask for Help

Honestly, do you think you have to do it all yourself? If so, you’re wrong. Spread the cheer, delegate, and let go. Ask for a little help.

Get Away

I’m not suggesting Skipping Christmas but take time for you, take an hour, a day, or a weekend, and get away from it all. Have fun, enjoy, and forget the chaos.

Be Happy, Don’t Worry

If you’re worrying about every little detail, you’ll have no time to be happy. When you find yourself being a worry-wart, stop and ask yourself this. Is my worry founded? Is there anything I can do about? If not then quit worrying.

Create a Budget

And stick to it. Overspending is easy to do and insidious because it follows you well past the holidays. Cut back if you need to, but don’t overspend to keep up appearances. It doesn’t work.

Volunteer

There may be no better way to get over your personal concerns, to get over yourself, than volunteering to help someone less fortunate. It puts things in perspective.

A Challenge

If you’re a hostage of the holidays, if worry could be your middle name during the season; I have a challenge for you. Pick two of the ten and make it happen, and when you do, please leave me a comment. Now quit stressing out!

 If you’d like to explore this topic further try this, Mayo Clinic: Stress Depression and the Holidays