How to Stay Stress Free This Holiday Season
November 21, 2022 | Kathy Ingulsrud
The holidays! A time for family, friends, and special memories – or at least, that’s what we hope for. Sometimes the holiday season is stressful, lonely, and difficult, and we may even find ourselves feeling frustrated and irritable. Thankfully, there are some effective strategies for re-centering and finding a sense of joy even when things get rough. The Mayo Clinic offers some excellent tips.
Tips for Managing Stress This Holiday Season
Moving your body can increase “feel-good” endorphins. In addition, movement can help us get out of our thoughts, giving us space and time to look at situations with a new perspective.
Any form of movement can work! If your Medicare health plan includes a free gym membership benefit, the holiday season is a great time to use it. Many gyms have walking tracks that allow you to be indoors even when the weather is icy and cold. Gyms offer all forms of exercise classes, and many also provide social and educational events.
Many of us have favorite treats we look forward to enjoying during the holiday season. Allow yourself to partake in your favorites while remembering balance. Enjoy without overindulging.
The holidays can be very busy. Allow yourself times of rest and recovery.
Not only do we need breaks after a big event, but we often benefit from resting up before an event. Notice the opportune moments you have when transitioning from one event to another. For example, before going to a holiday gathering or event, stay an extra minute or two in your car to take some long, deep breaths. Gather the calm and sense of energy you want to take with you into the gathering.
If you find yourself becoming stressed or irritated, find a quiet place where you can reset and re-center. Even a few minutes in the bathroom by yourself can allow you to collect your thoughts and feelings before interacting with other people again.
Express your Emotions
When feelings are caught up inside us, they can cause unease and distress. If you sense that you have some big feelings inside, laughter can be a transformative release. Watch a movie that will have you laughing out loud. Read a light-hearted book. Listen to music that moves you.
Journaling is also very effective. Putting your feelings on paper can help you separate from them, giving you space to reflect on them rather than feeling like they have control over you.
Know Your Expectations
So often during the holidays, we have ideas about how things “should” be. But often, we are not even aware that we have these expectations. Instead, we only feel disappointed or upset when our expectations aren’t met. If you notice you are feeling frustrated, check if you have a hidden expectation.
Eric Zimmer, host of the podcast The One You Feed, offers a training on “How to Feel Peace This Holiday Season” and addresses this concept. He recommends using the following set of questions to help you reflect on your expectations.
Write down your expectation and then ask yourself:
- Is this what I really want, or is it what my family, friends, or society want from me?
- How does this expectation serve me?
- How does this expectation hold me back?
- What would it take to let this expectation go?
- What would I lose by letting go of this expectation?
- What would I gain by letting go of this expectation?
Lastly, Eric reminds us to rediscover what our true intention is. What is most important to you? Why are you doing the things you are doing? Are your expectations helping you reach your intention, or are they getting in the way? Does remembering your intention change the spirit and attitude you are approaching a situation?
Remembering the phrase, “keep the main thing the main thing.” In other words, what is the most important priority? What matters the most to you? Let everything else be secondary.
If the holidays are difficult, remember that you are not alone. Use the strategies described above to help you reset and de-stress this holiday season.
Happy holidays from all of us at Twin City Underwriters!
Do you have questions about Medicare, and which plan is right for you? Twin City Underwriters offers free informational Medicare workshops and one-on-one consultations with Medicare insurance brokers where you can ask questions and get personal answers. If you need Medicare help, we can help you select the right coverage for your needs. To attend a Medicare webinar or set up an appointment, call us toll-free at 1-800-507-6778 or send us a message.