With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially this year. If you’re among those who are fighting an extra dose of anxiety this year, here are 5 tips to manage holiday stress. 

Start the day off right

Make time for breakfast. Include a protein, small serving of healthy carbs and a dose of healthy fat to boost your energy and mood. When you start your day well nourished and satiated, you will experience more clarity for the decisions that come your way and a better mindset as you tackle challenges. You work from fullness instead of depletion. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast will help you make better choices throughout your day and manage holiday stress more effectively.

Be still

Allow space in your day for meditation or prayer. Whether it’s sitting with your morning coffee or taking a soothing bath at the end of the day, take time to be still. Light a candle, enjoy some aromatherapy, or take a few deep, cleansing breaths as you sit with soft music or silence. Consider keeping a gratitude journal to record what you’re thankful for each day. In just a few minutes, you will manage the holiday stress that might otherwise consume you during this busy season.

Stay active

While it’s important to rest, it’s also important to move. Just 10-15 minutes can kickstart your day. Go for a walk, find a new workout video, or hit the gym if it’s open. Get outside as often as possible. Despite the chill, the fresh air will invigorate your mind, provide a change of scenery, and help you take a break from the stressors of your day. Recruit a friend to join you and enjoy some great conversation along the way and fill your relational bucket. 

Volunteer 

There is no shortage of opportunities to volunteer your time to people and organizations in need as this year has brought hardship to many. Even if you are personally experiencing hardship, serving others is a proven way to improve your mood and contentment. As you look for ways to manage holiday stress, this is an effective way to put life into perspective and practice gratitude, another proven stress reducer. 

Stick to your budget

The expense of gift-giving leads to higher levels of stress during the holiday season. While it’s tempting to over-purchase, be mindful of your spending. Buy gifts that are within your budget or get creative and craft your own. Offer your time or a skill instead of a tangible gift to those you love. Minimizing social gatherings is an unfortunate necessity this year, but when you do socialize spend within your means. 

As you work to manage holiday stress this year, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast, take time to move and relax, volunteer in your community, and stick to your budget. With these 5 tips to manage holiday stress, you are better prepared to kick off a healthy and happier new year.