The holidays can be the most wonderful time of year, but they can also be stressful. Sometimes our to-do lists start to take on lives of their own. Wrapping presents, decorating the tree, cleaning your home for guests, and preparing meals can quickly turn from enjoyable to taxing. Coping with holiday stress is easier said than done, but try to find ways to take care of yourself during the hustle and bustle. At the end of the season, no one will remember how perfect the house looked or whether or not the ham was a little dry. They’ll remember the quality time spent with loved ones.
Coping with Holiday Stress
Learn to Say No
Have you discovered the power of saying no? Learning when to politely decline a social outing or favor request can help you keep your sanity during the Christmas season. It’s understandable to want to please everyone and help out. If you’re retired, your family and friends could assume that you have extra time on your hands, which means they might ask you for extra help running holiday errands or completing certain crafts or recipes. It is important to remember that you can control your own schedule.
If you want to help but a request overwhelms you, feel free to offer to fulfill part of the request. For example, if your daughter asks you to wrap all of your grandkids’ presents, offer to wrap half of them instead of all of them. Or better yet, offer to spend quality time with your grandkids while she wraps them. Before you say yes to something, think about what you are actually saying no to. If you say yes to helping your church host a holiday dinner, you might be saying no to a relaxing night in with your family or time to work on your own to-do list. You need to take care of your health and stress levels, so you can be around for your family and friends.
Use To-Do Lists and Time Blocking
Sometimes writing down what you need to accomplish can make it feel more achievable. Once you review your to-do list, you might realize you actually have enough time to get everything done before December 25 arrives. Try to prioritize the tasks, and consider removing ones you actually don’t need to accomplish. Write your daily to-do list on a Post-It note so you don’t feel the temptation to schedule too much to do in one day. If you need more structure to stay on task, try using the time blocking method. Take time each morning to schedule out each hour of your day, and write out which task you will be working on during each hour.
As you plan out your busy days, don’t forget to pencil in time for rest. Relaxation time is crucial for coping with holiday stress. This is a great season to schedule a massage or facial as a way to relax. Studies show that getting a 20-30 minute massage twice a week significantly decreases high blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone. As you age, your blood pressure tends to rise, so take extra measures to keep your levels in check during this naturally busy time of year.
Coping with holiday stress is a learning process. Don’t feel upset with yourself if you end up getting a little stressed. Just try to look at each day as a new beginning, and focus on the joy of being with friends or family.
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to be able to enjoy your retirement in a healthy, lively, and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the activities, amenities, and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.