Image by: Firesam!
By: Ken Lucas
The Holidays can be one of the most jovial times of the year. First there’s Halloween, where you get to scare the living crap out of innocent passerby, then its Thanksgiving, where you get to engorge yourself with edible delights, and to cap it all off its Christmas, where you get to buy and receives things for and from the people closest to you. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Well, while it is a merry time of year, a lot of stress may come along with ensuring every aspect of it is picture perfect for you and your family.
Living up to the task of cooking enormous spreads of food and hosting dozens of people over, or buying ridiculously expensive presents that carry the risk of being neglected after one or two uses may be daunting. But for those of you with short budgets and lack of culinary skills, here are a few ways in which you can relieve any incoming stress you are destined to face during this merry time of year.
#1) Be Understanding
We know the stress of having to put up with your wife or girlfriends demanding family may be taxing on your nerves, but its important to be tactful and considerate while around others–realizing that everybody does what they do for a cogent reason. Perhaps your girlfriend is bugging the crap out of you about metamorphosing your home to resemble a gingerbread house, sending you to the store several times a day to buy the necessary decorations. Or perhaps your best friend recently got evicted and has been using your living room as his personal resort for the last month.
These things may be overwhelming, but just think of all the joy you’ll be spreading by showing compassion to those close to you!
Yea, it may sound a bit to “nice” for your liking to just go along with things as they are, but studies show that being nice and convivial is a great skill to acquire to reducing stress. Did I just refer to being nice as a skill? Yes, I did! As we are naturally selfish creatures (Most of us. Myself included…) often times we have to endure great pains to show excess compassion to those around us.
It may be tough, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. And you never know, it this method of stress reduction actually works, those who you have helped may even return the favor someday when you’re in bind.
Exercise is something you can utilize not only during the holidays to relieve stress, but year round as well. Perhaps even considered the best way to relieve stress, exercise gives us the ultimate in-the-moment feeling which enriches our minds and our bodies and gives us that primal–endorphin releasing–feeling of being in action.
As adults, most of us don’t have access to sports or other organized activities and are often stuck behind a cubicle or desk of some sort hacking out 8 hour work shifts several days a week. While it is fine to do what it takes to support yourself and your family, it is important to remember that the human body has many functions that it often craves to use.
We can run; we can jump; we can life; and we can pull. And the reason our bodies progress when we execute these tasks is because they are natural actions.
Not only does exercise overcome stress, but also reduces tension, fatigue and anger. And even though it may be an eye-sore on your daily routine, incorporating physical activity in your regimen may perhaps pay for itself, in the sense that the time you would otherwise spend taking spontaneous naps as a result of fatigue, or rubbing your forehead in a fit of dismay about your long day at work could be better spent in the weight room.
And the best part is, by working out regularly you will not only relieve stress and anger, but you also get sexier and smarter. Sounds pretty good, huh?
#3) Play Games
Games are a great way for you and your family to connect with one another and engage your mind and body in either physically or intellectually stimulating activity. Like exercise, sports, treasure hunts or charades will have an endorphin releasing effect that will put your body in that “living in the moment” phase which diverts any unwanted attention away from the stress of having to encounter that spiteful mother-in-law this Holiday season.
While physical activity is certainly helpful in keeping you and your family entertained, you can also divert some of your stress with the help of games that require little to no physical activity such as cards or board games.
This is great for the children as well, as they will likely be outside of school for a large portion of the holidays. Intellectually stimulating games such as Scrabble, Monopoly or perhaps even tabletop RPG’s will keep their minds fresh, and allow them to epitomize what the Holidays are all about–spending time with family and away from social influences and computer games.
The holidays are a third of the way gone already. Before you know it we’ll be at the turkey table and then within the vicinity of a decorated Tree. While it will most likely be fun, I can imagine it will be just as stressful. How do you plan on overcoming it? Share with us below!