Holiday season is right around the corner. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years, there are plenty of opportunities for your stress meter to get tapped out. School functions and work parties can be exciting and fun, but jumping from one commitment to the next can leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and just plain tired. So how can you manage the stress of the holidays and make it through unscathed?

Take time for yourself. Even in the midst of a busy schedule, taking just 30 minutes to read, go for a walk, or catch up with a friend can boost your outlook and provide the motivation you need to adhere to your schedule. Pamper yourself. Whether that means getting a mani/pedi or diffusing your favorite essential oil, taking time to do something for yourself can help you refocus, recharge, and feel rejuvenated.

Make a list. Organizing your commitments on paper can ease the feeling that you’ve said yes one too many times. Once you’ve written down what you need to do during the holiday season, add it to a calendar. Whether it is a wall calendar or on your phone, having a visual reminder of the things you must do can aid in de-cluttering your thoughts and allow you to plan out your holiday season more effectively.

Ask for help. There’s nothing like having a friend or loved one jump in to help in a time of need. And although sometimes we feel the need to do it all ourselves, that can take its toll mentally, physically, and emotionally. When we ask for help, not only can we get tasks done quicker, it’s a great way to build relationships at the same time. Getting help from someone we trust can also help lower levels of stress caused by the commitments and activities surrounding the holidays.

Exercise. According to the Office on Women’s Health, getting physical activity can not only help relax your tense muscles due to stress, but improve your mood. Research shows that physical activity can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, all of which can develop when stress levels are at their peak. You don’t have to run a marathon! Regular exercise can be a brisk walk at a local park or indoor mall, a jog around the lake, or simply stretching your muscles daily. Just get your body moving!

Learn to say no. As much as we want to say yes to all the commitments that come our way, it’s probably not the best-case scenario. Pick and choose things to say yes to. An overloaded schedule can increase stress, cause sleepless nights, and negatively affect relationships. Allowing yourself to have a limit on what is scheduled can be quite freeing. It will increase enjoyment of the commitments you have said yes to, without dreading what lies around the corner the following week.

You can manage stress during the holidays, but it will take paying attention to your health: physical, emotional, and mental. Here at Advanced Women’s Healthcare, we want your holiday season to be enjoyable and as stress free as possible. Staying active, asking for help, and having realistic goals and commitments is key to managing stress and staying healthy. Take the time to care for your mind and body and we think you’ll find this holiday season to be the best one yet.

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