Five Ways to De-stress Your Holidays

person-woman-coffee-cup-largeWhile this is the season to be jolly, the holiday can be stressful. From shopping, crowds and long checkout lines to endless parties with diet-busting foods and the expensive gifts—it can be difficult to relax. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that for most Americans, stress tends to increase rather than decrease during the holidays. As challenging as it can be this time of year, self-care is very important, especially for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Here are five tips for finding time to relax during the holidays:

  1. Meditate – Taking five minutes to sit quietly and clear your mind of the chaos around you canhelp you relax.
  2. Exercise – Among other benefits, exercise helps to decrease muscle tension. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, taking time to exercise can help you de-stress and boost your mood.
  3. Do the activities you enjoy most and avoid the rest – What’s the point of celebrating the holidays if you don’t enjoy it? Give the majority of your time to the things you love most during the holidays, whether it’s cooking, decorating or simply being around family and friends.
  4. Be grateful – Be mindful of what you’re most thankful for this season. Make a genuine effort to align the focus of the holidays to reflect your spiritual or ethical beliefs rather than commercial values. Consider keeping a gratitude journal to help you focus on what you have instead of what you want.
  5. Just say no – That’s right. Having extra responsibilities during the holidays is normal, but you can’t be everything to everyone all season long. It is okay to set aside special time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and stick to them.