Many people look forward to the holidays of Chinese New Year. While this time of year is meant to bring feelings of love and celebration, it's also the harbinger of holiday stress for many. In fact, according to some polls, more than 80% of people find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful. The combined effort of money spending, attending social events, and entertaining guests can quickly become too much to cope. In some cases, the increasing stress and anxiety may even lead to depression. Here are five tips to help you deal with holiday stress and anxiety so you can get through this festive time of year a lot easier.
1. Know Your Limit and Set A Realistic Budget
Although spending money during the holiday season may be unavoidable, you can control how much you spend. Some of the stress you feel over the holidays may have a lot to do with financial pressure. To help prevent stress over money, plan ahead, review your finances, and come up with a realistic budget. Buying gifts shouldn’t affect your ability to pay your bills, nor should it result in costly credit card debt. Besides, don’t let the red envelope tradition during the Chinese New Year stress you out. Don’t be cheap on the red envelopes, but don’t bite off more than you can chew neither. You might get creative and think of ideas that don't involve too much money to show your love to the family, such a s spend more quality time with your parents or kids.
2. Stay Active and Keep Exercise
Too often at the holidays you let regular exercise go by the wayside along with the rest of self-care. What you may not realize is that being active can elevate your mood and help you cope with stress. Exercise is recognized as an important stress-management tool that can keep your body and mind more stress-tolerant all the time. It stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain, which are brain chemicals that can trigger a positive feeling in the body, boosting mood and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. Understandably, you might be too busy to exercise during the holidays. However, a 30-minute of workout three times a week to maintain a calm mental state is surely worthwhile.
3. Don’t Over-Commit
The holiday season is particularly stressful when you have too much on your plate. This might be the case if you're welcoming out-of-town guests and hosting family festivities. No one expects you to do it all, so don’t expect it of yourself. And everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Get your family involved and share the duties. Select those things that matter most and politely decline the things that don’t; know your limitations and learn how to say “no”. For example, instead of taking on the responsibility of preparing an entire meal alone, ask everyone to help. Or, if you feel that hosting an event at your home is too much, don't feel obligated to entertain relatives and friends.
4. Prepare for Conflict and Take Time for Yourself
If you usually have conflict when you get together with your family, it's a good idea to be prepared for it. I'm not suggesting that you go looking for trouble, but rather, approach the situation with a sense of humor and remind yourself what you love about them. Remember that if you let every remark get under your skin, you’ll be miserable and stressed out the entire time. Set aside your differences, and learn to agree to disagree. It’s also important to make time for yourself so you can take a breather and clear your mind. You can go for a walk, listen to relaxing music, or get a massage to take your mind off while you juggle family obligations and social events.
5. Extra Support from Nutrition
Foods can help tame stress in several ways. A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Besides, if you are one of those individuals who often gets sick during the holidays, you should know immune function and stress are a double-edged sword. When you are under stress, your immune system might not function optimally to protect you from common germs. If you know your body are this kind, you should take extra care to wash your hands frequently, exercise and rest regularly, and adopt a nutrient-rich diet to boost your immune system, you might be able to get through the holiday stress and illnesses easier.