Stress will always be a part of lives – but the holidays tend to bring extra of it.  Whether it is balancing family functions, cooking, wrapping presents – it’s helpful to try to remember ways we can manage it.

Here are some of the best ways we can try to manage stress on a daily basis:

Keep to a routineIt’s important to try to keep some sort routine during the holidays with physical activity and nutrition, because it can be difficult to try to get back in a routine after the new year.  We’ve all been there! Whether it is your regular schedule at CFE or balancing healthy eating during lots of holiday meals – do what you need to do to keep your current routine up!

Practice mindfulnessSometimes we are so busy about what we’ve done in the past or what will happen in the future.  Often, we play out worst case scenarios in our mind. Practicing mindfulness – being aware of what is going on and how we’re feeling in the present – can be a powerful tool to hit a “reset” button on our day.  Some people actively meditate (even a short guided one from online) or practice deep breathing. Find something that works for you.

Change of sceneryWhere you are physically able to, getting away from whatever is causing you stress can be extremely beneficial.  Whether it is at work and getting away from your desk for a bit, or taking time to go on a walk in your neighborhood – a change of scenery can bring much needed relief.

Anticipate: Stress can be unpredictable, but there are certain parts we may be anticipate.  Are there situations, things – even people that cause us stress? How can we emotionally prepare ourselves for these situations?  Maybe it is a certain family member we’re going to see at the holidays or a never-ending to do list for holiday preparations – knowing what stresses us out ahead of time can help us better manage it.

How we respondFinally, consider how you respond to stress. There are stressful things we can act on, others that prompt us to change how we emotionally react, and things we have to accept whether we know it or not.  As people we may naturally try to “fix” things – but often we cannot. Knowing what to spend your energy on and what to accept and move on from is something we can all try to do a bit better.

– Patrick Lukingbeal