How to Combat Stress During the Holidays

via the glamoroushousewife
If you're anything like me, your life gets crazy right around Halloween and stays that way until January. With all the holidays packed into such a short amount of time, it can be really easy to get overwhelmed by all the cooking, planning, organizing, shopping, partying, and all-around doing - not to mention school or work! That's not at all a bad thing - this is my favorite time of the year - but it's very important to remember to take a step back when you get too stressed and give yourself a breather. Here are my top ten tips on how to reduce stress when the hustle and bustle of the holidays start to get the best of me.

1. Take half an hour (or less, depending on your schedule) to get a workout in. Sweating it out will get your mind off the stress and burn some calories - perfect excuse to have an extra holiday cookie!

2. If you have a full day of stressful shopping or cooking ahead, invite a friend or family member along. It'll seem more like a party than a day of crossing things off your to-do list.

3. Brew a cup of coffee or tea and go for a walk. The cooler air will clear your head and you'll get to take some time to really see how beautiful the world is in the fall. Meditation also works great to de-stress if you don't want or don't have time to go out for a walk.

4. Don't let self-care fall by the wayside. Get plenty of sleep (even if that means cutting your nightly Netflix binge short) and eat as healthy as you can. Think how much more stressed you'll be if you run yourself into the ground and get sick when you have a million things to do on your list.

5. Clean your room, kitchen, desk space, whatever. That may seem like your last priority but de-cluttering your home can do wonders for de-cluttering your mind. Plus, you won't be rushing around half an hour before having holiday guests over!

6. When writing your to-do list for the day, put your top three priorities at the top of the list and focus on getting those done first. If that's all you accomplish for the day, great! You did what you needed to do and it's okay if lesser things get put off until tomorrow.

7. Create a motivational playlist to listen to when getting tasks done. Putting one together is fun anyway, but when you pick songs that really get you psyched to accomplish goals, you'll find yourself feeling more positive and accomplishing more. Making different ones for different things - cooking, cleaning, shopping, whatever - will also help get you in that specific mindset.

8. Treat yourself at the end of every long day. When you have a new magazine to look forward to or a venti Starbucks caramel brulee latte to pick up on your way home, you'll be focused more on that than on the stress of working toward it.

9. Work ahead. Taking breaks is a necessity but if you have a few spare hours and nothing to do, you might as well be productive so you'll have less to do later. If you're in charge of making a pot of soup for a party, make it ahead of time and freeze it. If you know you'll be extra busy next week but you have some shopping to do, go ahead and start now - especially if you're online shopping and want to make sure everything arrives with plenty of time!

10. Count your blessings. Think about what's stressing you out and try to frame it in a positive way. Have so many parties to go to that you barely have time to sleep? That means people want you around! Have a ton of gift shopping to do and not enough time to get it done? Think of how many people you love and will get to see to exchange gifts with this season. Dreading the idea of cooking enough food to feed a small army? Look forward to being the hostess with the mostest and to the beautiful dinner you're going to get to share with your loved ones. When you think of it like that, the stress kind of fades a little and you can focus more on the whole point of the holidays: spending time with your family and friends. There's nothing better than that.

What are some tried and true tricks that you use to reduce holiday stress? Leave some ideas in the comments!

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