Stress-Less Holidays

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Stress can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stressors.  Stress, if harnessed properly, can be of great assistance, but if you lose control, the effects of stress can easily become your worst enemy.

Mitochondria are the power house of virtually every cell in the body and they generate approximately 90% of the body’s energy.

The holiday season often brings an unwelcome guest — stress . And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.  But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

Tips to prevent holiday stress:

When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

  1. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
  2. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  3. Energy.  Mito patients must listen to the signs of their body!  Take frequent breaks, ask friends for help, and keep an eye on your regulation of temperature.
  4. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.
  5. Try these alternatives:
    • Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
    • Give homemade gifts.
    • Start a family gift exchange.
  6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
  9. Try these suggestions:
    • Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
    • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
    • Keep an eye on your fluid intake.
  10. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. 
  11. Some options may include:
    • Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
    • Listening to soothing music.
    • Getting a massage.
    • Reading a book.
    • Count your blessings.