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Sharp Health News

Manage your stress during the holidays

Dec. 2, 2015

Stress management during the holidays

With nonstop family obligations, overcrowded shopping venues and holiday events filling up your calendar, stress levels can elevate this time of year, and can cause emotional meltdowns. These stress busters will help you cope and hopefully allow you to enjoy the season to its fullest.

  1. Get organized. Write down all you have to do during the holidays. “This will help you realize how do-able your tasks are, but you need to have realistic expectations of what you can achieve,” says Ben Aragon, certified personal trainer and health promotion lead for Sharp Health Plan.

  2. Create a holiday calendar. Set aside specific days for your holiday shopping, meal preparation, must-attend events and all of your to-do tasks onto one calendar. This will help you prevent rushing to complete all your responsibilities.

  3. Say no at least once. Quiet the noise of errands and parties by allowing yourself to say no to one event (more if you can). You will feel surprised at how friends and family will understand if you cannot make it to everything.

  4. Start moving. One of the best ways to overcome stress during the holidays is to exercise. Physical activity not only boosts your fitness and energy levels, but can also lift your mood. Try wearing a step monitor or fitness tracker to calculate how much activity you are actually getting.

  5. Get outside. Make sure you get a good dose of vitamin D. Try moving your holiday meals to a local park or take the family for a hike at one of the many trails throughout San Diego.

  6. Eat right. Approach parties with a plan, before you arrive, of how much you will eat and how many alcoholic beverages you will drink — and always remember to drink responsibly. “You can track your caloric intake with websites such as MyFitnessPal.com,” says Jess Bixenmann, behavior change expert and certified health and wellness specialist for Sharp Health Plan.

  7. Be generous. A wonderful way to stay calm, content and cheerful this time of year is to act generously with your loved ones, co-workers and friends. “This doesn’t have to mean spending money. You can be generous with your compliments,” says Aragon.

With minor planning and following these valuable tips, you can experience the joy of the holiday season.

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