’Tis the Season to Be Jolly, Not Frazzled—Here’s How

Holiday seasonChristmas is supposed to be a merry time. Instead, it’s often an occasion for overspending, overdoing, and overeating—and that can leave you feeling stressed, tired, and down on yourself. But it’s not too late to reclaim your holiday spirit. These tips can help you recapture the joy of the season and take better care of your health.

Reset Your Expectations

The number one priority: Don’t aim for the perfect Christmas. It doesn’t exist, and striving for it only leads to frustration and disappointment. Instead, focus on having a relaxing, meaningful holiday that honors your personal, cultural, and religious traditions.

Maintain Healthy Habits

Follow your usual schedule for meals, exercise, and sleep as much as possible. You might even work in a little extra physical activity. If you have kids in the house, bundle them up and go for a walk around the park. Or take an extra lap around the mall after you finish shopping.

Anticipate the stress that may occur if you pile too many extra activities on top of your already-busy schedule. When things start feeling hectic rather than fun, give yourself permission to put up fewer decorations or turn down some invitations.

Don’t Overspend on Gifts

Spending beyond your means leads to stress. Scale back your gift list and stick with a shopping budget. Or give homemade items, which will often be treasured long after store-bought presents have been forgotten.

In addition, consider sharing your time by volunteering. For example, you might serve dinner at a homeless shelter or volunteer for a community program that assists those in need. Helping others can put your own life challenges in perspective and is a great way to tap into the true spirit of holiday giving.

Considering a Healthy Resolution?

Be sure to check our hospital calendars for events and programs that can help you live healthfully in the New Year: