OT Clinical Services

Check Stress Off Your Holiday To-Do List

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed during the holidays; a time when your calendar fills up and your to-do list keeps growing. In the midst of trying to keep track of everything, the most important things about the holidays can get lost in the shuffle. Adding a couple of the tips below to your to-do list can help lessen the stress and elevate the joy you experience during this holiday season.

  • Set a realistic schedule: Running from place to place can zap your holiday spirit. Set your priorities and be sure to schedule in downtime.
  • Keep it simple: Scale down the things you have to do. For example, rather than preparing a complicated recipe, select one that is easy to prep and has a shortlist of ingredients.
  • Plan ahead: Look ahead on your calendar and make a list of errands and items to get. This will reduce trips to the store and prevent rushing around at the last minute.
  • Stick with healthy habits: Exercise and being in nature are both great ways to reduce stress so try to take time to go for a stroll outdoors when possible.
  • Breathe: Trade in those shallow breaths and tension in your chest. Taking just a few deep breaths can significantly lower your stress level at the moment. For even more positive effects, try a breathing meditation or mindfulness exercise.
  • Slow down and be in the moment: When spending time with others, let go of thoughts and worries about the past and the future. Soak in those special moments and think about what you are grateful for.

As we approach the new year, you should consider taking time for yourself and evaluating the roles, habits, and routines that you have in your daily life.

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