It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Except when the to-do list leaves you in a fit of anxiety: gifts to buy, cards to mail, lights to hang, cookies to bake, travel plans to make, aaarrrggghhh!! And it’s a known fact that stress leaves your immune system vulnerable to a host of wintertime illnesses. For your consideration, we offer these ten tips for managing your holiday stress:
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep your holiday “light” (don’t overindulge—from the money you spend to the food you eat).
- Delegate tasks and ask for help so you don’t carry the entire load.
- Remember the true reason for the season and give to others. Donating toys or food to families in need can do wonders for your spirits.
- Prioritize. Does every friend or family member in your life really need a gift? Keep it simple.
- Exercise! Hard to find time, we know, but the happy hormones are worth it.
- Say “no.” You can’t possibly attend every party out there.
- Finish your shopping online. Who needs to battle those last-minute crowds at the mall?
- Find some quiet time just for you, whether you enjoy a relaxing cup of cocoa, watch a favorite holiday movie, or take a few minutes to meditate.
- Visit and pet some furry critters at the animal shelter near you (this tip comes from our editor, Tina Owen, a regular visitor at the Iowa City shelter).
Take care of yourself. We hope your holiday season is merry and bright.