Helpful Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday!

We are ready to put this year to bed, but we know that with the holidays comes the stress! We hope that these tips will help you have a safe and stress-free holiday season!

Holiday time is traditionally a stressful time of year for many individuals. Below, we outline some strategies that can help you enjoy your favorite events, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. Instead of worrying about how this year's holidays will be different from the holidays of the past, use these tips to relieve the stress of the holidays and avoid familiar temptations.

The first thing you need to do is to recognize why you feel stressed during the holiday season. If the holidays have taken an emotional toll in the past, try to prevent stress and depression from the outset, by acknowledging which parts are the hardest, coming up with solutions for how to make those less stressful, and making concrete plans for the parts that you know you enjoy. For example, if you know that shopping is stressful for you, make some lists to break the task down into smaller pieces. Plan to shop online this year in order to relieve the stress that going out to stores inevitably brings. Furthermore, if you truly enjoy baking, schedule a day when you will fill your home with the sounds and smells of holiday cookies.

Understand that you may be feeling particularly sensitive because it's the culmination of a tough year for many people, but also because you may usually feel this way during this time of year. Understanding that there may be history to your holiday stress will at least help you understand one of the root causes for how you are feeling.

Also, with COVID-19 still rampant around the country and the world, it will be difficult to have a typical holiday gathering with your family. If you're getting together with a small group of family, it is more than fine to ask the family to maintain their social distance, or wear masks when maintaining social distance is difficult. However, during this year of pandemic, we would suggest reevaluating any events that you plan on attending.

Instead, it may just be time to accept that this is one of those years where normal plans have to be modified -- and that's okay! Technologies like Zoom, FaceTime, and (dare I say) the telephone will give you that family connection to extended members of the family that we all want during this time of year.

As for more traditional ways to reduce stress during the holidays, I recently shared a few tips for how to get you moving during these trying times, and those habits will come in handy even more during the holidays.

Remember to stand, take a walk, watch some YouTube exercise videos for ways to stretch and move, and keep up with your favorite active hobbies, like gardening or reading. Fresh air and exercise are great ways to lift your mood and lift your spirits, which can help ease holiday stress and anxiety for you and your loved ones. Working up a good sweat can actually reduce stress and works wonders for eliminating toxins and extra calories from holidays. Exercise helps combat seasonal depression and can also help you feel more energetic and focused.

One thing that usually gets compromised, especially during times of stress, is sleep. However, sleep is one of the best ways to keep your head when things are getting hectic. A good night's sleep, complete with a routine to help wind you down, is paramount, not only during the holidays but all year long. And incorporating a meditation ritual through apps like Calm and Headspace may help kick your morning off in the right way.

Other things that may seem mundane but that can truly help are simple pleasures like taking a bath, enjoying a hot drink, or indulging in a phone call with a friend. These things can create a feeling of peace and happiness, especially during the holidays.

Even if you can't enjoy a perfectly traditional holiday season this year, we hope that these tips will help you cope and have fun and fulfillment nonetheless. From our Affirmed Home Care family to yours, have a joyous holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Remember, the Affirmed Home Care mission is to support the health and well-being of our clients by delivering the finest personalized in-home care, specific to their needs, wants and preferences. Our goal is to provide exceptional client centered care with a quality team to achieve excellent outcomes. We serve the New York City metro area (now including Brooklyn and Queens), Westchester County, and Bergen, Morris, and Essex Counties in New Jersey. Contact us today to see how we can help!