Holiday Stress Busters

Feeling frazzled?

Here's how to deal with the silly season differently this year.

I'm feeling it and i'm sure you are too. The Christmas crazies and the race to New Year has begun and the stress has well and truly set in.

This is quite possibly the most overwhelming, anxiety-provoking time of year for most of us, even though it's meant to be enjoyable. It's completely backwards, this period should be all about connection with loved ones, relaxing and having fun.

Even the lead up to the holidays is jam-packed with stressful situations. Shops are crowded and everyone is cranky. Parking is non-existent. You always end up overspending. Everyone wants to "catch up before Christmas", so you end up exhausted and with no down time.

In an effort to enjoy this year's festivities, here are our top stress busting tips:

1. Take A Deep Breath (and smile)

Three deep breaths, in and out through your nose. Try it now. Then turn the corners of your mouth up and remember what this time of year is meant to be about!

This simple act helps to diffuse stress or confronting situations. Everyone's guard is up and resilience is down during this time, so a little giggle together to release some tension wouldn't go astray.

2. Prioritise What Is Really Important

I sent my family out before writing this to the second day care end of year celebration so I could have some peace and quiet, as well as get on top of my workload.

Sometimes you have to say NO to invitations, which is okay! People understand and your time is important.

Say YES to what lights you up and what is going to recharge you, and don't be afraid to decline events which are just going to leave you feeling drained.

3. Don't Get Caught Up In Other People's Stuff

It's everyone for themselves and you don't need to take on other people's negative energy or personal issues. Remember that everything is intensified, so sometimes walking away from people if they're in a state is a better use of your time and energy than trying to help them through it.

Especially when you throw family and alcohol into the mix, things can get messy. Commit to yourself to not get involved and remember to try and have fun!

4. Remember To Relax

Even if you don't have much time off, carve out a little space for yourself. Maybe make time for a swim before work, or a coffee with a friend or that yoga class you have been meaning to try.

If you have time off, don't get too caught up in being productive, slow down and enjoy doing not much for a change.

If you aren't going on a holiday, create a holiday at home, with lazy, long breakfasts, exploring your home town and taking time to rest.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Spark!