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9 ways to stay merry and bright

Is taking care of yourself on your holiday to-do list? It should be. We know you want to make the holidays more special for your loved ones, but don’t neglect yourself in the process. Here’s how to manage the stress of the season.


1. get enough sleep

It can be tempting to stay up later during the holiday season, especially if you have guests. Then there are all those fabulous holiday movies, binge-watching the hot new shows, parties… we get it. At least try to limit caffeine and social media late in the day so when it’s time to hit the sack, it’ll be easier to fall asleep.


2. tickle your funny bone

If you find yourself starting to feel stressed or a little down, ditch the social media doom-scrolling and watch funny movies. They don’t have to be new releases; one of your go-to favorites could be just what you need. And yes, it’s okay to watch one of the zillion holiday romcoms out there just to make fun of them. Is laughter really the best medicine? Give it a try and let us know.


3. exercise daily

This can be as low-key as taking a walk or riding your bike around the neighborhood. Want to work up a sweat without leaving the house? You can find tons of free exercise classes online. Oh, and please check with your doctor before getting started.


4. be crafty and creative

Even if you don’t think you have artistic talent or experience, it can still feel good to exercise your creative muscle. Try simple crafts like making your own holiday decorations or greeting cards. Not feeling crafty? Grab a few sheets of blank paper, borrow your kids’ crayons or markers and let your imagination run free.


5. host an online party

Pick a date and decide on a theme, like a holiday happy hour or a huge game night. You won’t even need to find a space for the party, buy a bunch of food and drinks or clean up afterwards. That means you can invite tons of people! Remember to test-drive the tech-y part a few days before the actual party.


6. schedule “you” time

A few breaks during the holiday hubbub can do wonders for your mood. Let your family know that these breaks are a gift you’re giving yourself for the holidays. Suggest they give themselves the same gift. Take a nap. Read a book. Soak in a bubble bath. Give yourself a mani-pedi. So many possibilities…


7. keep an eye on spending

It can be easy to overspend during the holidays. Try writing down what you spend on gifts, decorations, food and other essentials and keep a running total. That way you’ll always know where you stand. After the holidays, you can use the final total to create a holiday budget for next year.

Check out this article for more info: Creating a holiday budget


8. volunteer to help others

Look for ways to help in your neighborhood or community since the coronavirus has limited volunteering with organizations. Offer to run errands for seniors, help a neighbor with yard chores or make a meal for someone you know may be struggling. Remember to follow your area’s guidelines for protecting yourself and others.


9. call a friend

Texting is faster and easier, but remember spending hours on the phone with friends and never wanting to hang up? If you miss those conversations and connections, the holidays are a good time to bring them back. Make a list of friends to catch up with and set up time to talk. We can’t guarantee laughing out loud over the phone will be better than typing L-O-L, but it has to be, right?

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