The holidays are upon us, and for many, this is not only a joyous time of year – it can be extremely stressful. Money, time, gifts and family obligations seem to be never ending during the holiday season. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things we can all do to help reduce our stress, focus on what’s important, and in general, have a more fulfilling and fun holiday with friends and family. Here’s how.
Leave the most stressful part of the holiday behind
If there’s a particularly stressful task that you dread doing every time the holiday rolls around, let it go if at all possible. Is it something you have to do? Is there any way you can modify the job to make it less stressful for you? Can someone help you? Can someone else in your family take on the task? Find a way to make that stressful task less cumbersome or find a better option—and if you can’t, then drop it.
Set a holiday budget
Let’s face it, the holidays are expensive. Between gifts, travel and food, expenses can really add up. Many families have reported that financial concerns are one of the biggest causes of overall holiday stress. One way to help mitigate this stress is to set a family budget for the holidays. Having a budget will allow you to plan ahead and know what your financial exposure will be. This simple step can be a huge help.
Create your own space
We learned long ago that having a little space to yourself is exactly what the doctor ordered for a stress-free holiday.
Gone are the days of crowding in on the air mattress in the garage. Now, we try to find our own place to stay when gathering for the holidays.
If you are coming to Ocean Isle Beach for the holidays, consider a condo! Condos are perfect for couples and small families who, while they do want to visit with everyone, also want a stress-free spot to where they can retreat and get a break from the chaos.
Consider the gifts you are giving
Gift giving is incredibly stressful for many people. It seems that things are more expensive by the day. However, there are gifts that are actually more meaningful than just their cash value. For example give the gift of time together or a special experience. These are more meaningful than a wrapped gift. Don’t get overwhelmed with the stress of shopping, buying and wrapping presents for everyone on your list. A girl’s day out, a holiday show, or a special breakfast at your favorite local spot are often more meaningful and memorable than any gift you could wrap.
Laugh more and more often
Keeping a sense of humor is important during the holidays, and nothing relieves stress like laughter. Try to find the humor in the small things. Also take time to laugh. For my family, that means watching Christmas Vacation. It is a family tradition and everyone feels better after laughing at Chevy Chase putting up Christmas lights.
Exercise is key
Did you know that studies have shown that even a short, brisk walk reduces stress, increases energy, helps reduce blood pressure and in general is a great way to help relieve stress?
Whether you walk, run, do yoga, meditate, golf or lift weights, it doesn’t matter. The key here is that exercise equals stress relief. We’ve known it for years, but many of us make excuses because we have so much going on. The problem is – all that stuff causes stress, so make sure to find time for some exercise to counter all that stress.
We are what we eat
Food has a big impact on our health, and in turn, on our level of stress. Remember that there are both mental and physical stressors involved with the holidays. The bottom line is this: if you binge on sugar, put on ten pounds and generally eat garbage, you are going to feel tired, heavy and unhappy. It is important to drink lots of water, and keep up a healthy intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. By doing this, you can help stay healthy and in a good place to deal with whatever stresses are thrown at your body.
You can’t do everything
Finally, you have to realize that you can’t do everything and be all things to all people. There’s a limit that we all must find. Pick the places you spend your time and energy. Pare down the things that are less important and instead focus on the events, activities and people that are truly meaningful in your life.
Perhaps the best way to eliminate or manage stress is to head to the beach. The beach washes away stress like nothing else. The sound of the waves, the sun, and sand beneath your toes all make for a stress-free family friendly environment that is perfect for the holidays. Let us help you find the perfect stress-free vacation home. Give us a call today at 800-727-9222 or click the button below to begin your beach vacation adventure.