The shopping and crowds, the office parties, and bustling medical practices. It’s so easy to feel not so wonderful during this most wonderful time of the year, especially when you are managing a busy medical office. Keeping your stress level down helps with more than staying relaxed — it can ensure you enjoy better overall health this holiday season and every holiday season for years to come. Here’s is a seven-step guide to staying stress-free this holiday season.
It’s perfectly fine to indulge a little during the festivities. It’s tough to say no during a time that should be about fun and celebration. In fact, never indulging can actually do more harm than good. However, there is no reason to do damage to yourself by downright overeating just because it’s the holiday season. Prepare for your hearty holiday dinners by eating healthy meals the week prior, not the week after. Also, limit also your alcohol intake. It might seem like a good idea to stifle your seesawing emotions by drinking the whole bottle of wine. However, alcohol will only intensify already-existing emotions and will lead to a crash in energy once its effects wear off. By eating and drinking in moderation, you can remain in control of your emotions and feel more comfortable with your surroundings.
It’s easy this time of year to throw your fitness regime out the window. The temperatures are cold and that comfy couch and cozy blanket are more appealing than a brisk walk outside. Unfortunately, inactivity can make seasonal depression worse. Exercise produces the same chemical reaction in your brain as an antidepressant. Nature has similar effects- so combining the two is even better. It’s really the best way to stay mentally and physically at the top of your game any time of year but is especially important over the holidays. This is great weather for hiking and trail running, so get outside and move!
Planning ahead can help you feel more in control of the details while you move through the whirlwind of the season. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and build your shopping list for what you need. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients.
One of the most stressful parts of the holidays is the sickness that comes along with it. As a medical office personal, it’s imperative that you are prepared. The best way to protect against the flu this holiday season is to get your shot as soon as possible. According to WebMD, “your best bet is to get a flu shot early in the season so your body has a chance to build up immunity to the virus. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to protect you.”
As a medical office manager, you deal with a lot and you more than likely utilize technology all day. While a backcountry cabin getaway probably isn’t realistic, scheduling a night or two of downtime is a great way to recharge. Whether spending the weekend with family, soaking in a warm bath, taking a long nature hike, or just relaxing at home, keep it easy and relaxing. Use this time to focus on quiet reflection and screen-free time with your favorite people.
The key to setting ourselves up for a more relaxing holiday season is to let go of perfectionism. It’s the holidays and things aren’t going to perfect. In-laws are coming, pies will burn, and gifts won’t be as you expected. Accept that you will experience some stress- and don’t worry about it too much. Sure, long-term stress is unhealthy, but occasionally feeling overwhelmed isn’t the end of the world. Don’t let the idea of stress become the cause of it. Lowering your expectations for throwing the perfect party or buying the most memorable gift will allow you to ease up and enjoy each moment for what it is.
Ask for help and use shortcuts.
Order up your local deli’s delicious side salad or the bakery’s pumpkin pie to compliment your main course. Take advantage of online shopping for gifts and for groceries! With inexpensive shipping fees and personal shoppers, you can avoid crowds and long lines save your time for memory making with the ones you love.
Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during this time of year. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can fight them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.