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Tips for less stress these holidays

The Christmas season is meant to be a time to regenerate your batteries and spend quality time with loved ones. Christmas can also set some high expectations which can cause financial and mental stresses.

Here are some steps you can take to help manage stress and anxiety during the festive period.

1. Be realistic – Consider your expectations and remain flexible. A healthy reminder - not everything needs to be perfect! Embrace the imperfections.

2. Practice acceptance – Some degree of anxiety is “normal”, healthy, and motivating. Think of it like a wave of the ocean; allow it to come in and ride it out.

3. Change your thoughts – We all worry about things we cannot completely control. Catch those thoughts, think about how they affect you and change them to more helpful thoughts.

4. Plan ahead – Set a budget for yourself and plan holiday activities and gift-giving in advance. For more ideas on how to have Christmas on a budget, check out our blog.

5. Don’t take on too much – Consider limiting your activities to those you are interested in and able to do. It is okay to say no!

6. Take care of yourself – Attend to your own feelings and self-care: good nutrition, sleep, and exercise are important to wellbeing.

7. Stay connected – Maintain good connections to family and friends. Surround yourself with people who can support you and help you thrive.

8. Be in the “now” – This can sometimes be hard to do, especially during these times! However, too much focus on worrying about what may or may not come means you may not be able to enjoy the present as much as you could. Take in all that is your present moment.

9. Take a deep breath – Practicing breathing or other relaxation techniques - e.g., progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery exercises, tai chi, yoga.

10. Behavioural activation – Engage in an activity you may enjoy, such as, getting out into nature and taking a walk, listening to music, reading a book.

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