Christmas family traditions

The happy holiday guide to less stress

As the song says, holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year.” Enjoying the company of family and friends, indulging in delicious holiday fare, and simply reflecting on this joyous time, all make this a special season. But when a too-busy schedule overwhelms you, consider these five stress-busting strategies to restore wonder and joy to your holiday celebrations.

Keep your plans realistic

Is your to-do list as long as your arm? Does just looking at it make you tired? Then maybe you have a case of “expectations exceeding energy.” One method of being more realistic in your planning is to ask yourself this simple question: “Does this [activity] bring me joy, satisfaction, or closeness with the people I care about? If not, then consider crossing it off your list.

Ask for help

If the holiday get-together is always at your place, don’t be shy to ask family and friends for help by assigning tasks and food preparation. There is no embarrassment in admitting that it’s all become too much—people are generally more than happy to assist.

Start a new tradition

Even with help, maybe hosting that holiday get-together is still too much. If that’s the case, start a new tradition by going out for a meal. If you live in a retirement residence, see if you can reserve the party room for your guests, with the residence supplying a meal or hors d’oeuvres.

If gifts are becoming cumbersome, start another new tradition of pulling names from a hat so that each person buys only one gift. Or, instead of “bought” presents, ask family members to give a gift of their time, their skills, or something they’ve created. Perhaps you can even make a donation to a meaningful charity in someone’s name.

Don’t forget to exercise

Exercise releases endorphins that fight stress, making you calmer and more focused. This is especially important at a time when you may be indulging more in rich foods or alcohol. If you participate in exercise classes in your retirement residence, keep to your schedule. If the weather outside is frightful, take up mall walking, or at an indoor track at your local community centre. Your body—and mind—will thank you for it in increased energy.

Enjoy the moment

Even when you’re at your busiest, take time to live in the moment, reflecting on your feelings. Think about why you enjoy this time of year, whether that’s getting together with loved ones, enjoying a holiday show, or simply taking in the wonder of a very special season.

Chartwell retirement residences are designed for seniors who want stress-free living while enjoying an active lifestyle. To learn more, call 1-855-461-0685 today!