The holidays are an exciting time of year, full of joy and time spent with loved ones. Yet, this year may be a little bit different. With COVID-19, social distancing measures may mean you can’t spend time with as many of your friends and family as usual.
However, just because you may not be visiting loved ones in person doesn’t mean you can’t carve out time to see them in a safe way, whether you’re on a zoom call, spending socially distanced time with them outdoors, or curating the perfect holiday giftbox to leave at their doorstep.
There’s a lot to do during the holidays and it can often lead to overwhelming amounts of stress! Shopping for the best gifts, cooking elaborate holiday dishes, and decorating the house from top to bottom – these seasonal traditions can come at a price to your mental and physical health. That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of your stress levels and prioritize self-care during this festive season.
The Benefits of Prioritizing Self-care During the Holidays
- Feel more positive
- Increased longevity
- Decrease chance of disease/illness
- Maintain stronger relationships
With these benefits in mind, here are five tips for taking control of holiday stress and prioritizing self-care through your mind, body, and soul:
Tip #1 – Get Adequate Sleep
The lights and festivities keep many people buzzing throughout the holiday season. However, it won’t be long before you’ve racked up several late nights which can affect your mood and energy levels, putting you at risk of becoming a holiday grinch!
While a few late nights are okay, it’s also important to get adequate sleep to have a full tank of energy during one of the busiest times of the year.
If you’re taking time off work, then consider indulging by sleeping in or even opting for a seasonal siesta (don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody) to give your body and mind some well-deserved R&R. After the holidays you can reset your sleep cycle with these tips.
Tip # 2 – Respect Your Holiday Budget
The holidays can be an expensive time of year for many. Between purchasing gifts and tackling your holiday grocery list – the expenses can quickly add up! These financial obligations can increase your financial stress levels and make your spending feel out of control.
This year has been especially challenging due to COVID-19. If you’re facing financial difficulties as a result of job loss or economic uncertainty, then respecting your holiday budget is important for reducing stress during this time. Research shows that the average Canadian spends $1,593 over the holiday season.1
Start your holiday shopping early so you can avoid overspending at the last minute. Also, ensure you set a realistic budget and stick to it, so you know exactly how much you want to spend and won’t be surprised the next time you see your credit card bill (almost one third of Canadians are afraid to look at their credit card bill in January).2 If you want to limit spending on gifts, then consider creating meaningful DIY gifts to give your loved ones instead.
Tip # 3 – Enjoy Balanced Eating
The holiday season is filled with yummy treats and indulgences. Your mom’s famous sticky toffee pudding may be calling your name for seconds or even thirds, but mindful eating is important.
We all know unhealthy eating can lead to health issues, but people often overestimate how much weight they will put on during the holidays. Research indicates that the average holiday weight gain is only around one to two pounds (this includes both Thanksgiving and the December holiday season).3
The key is to not deprive yourself of your favourite holiday treats; instead, try to find a balance. Go ahead and enjoy the once-a-year delicacies that make your mouth water! Just be sure to stick to your usual diet once the festivities are over.
Try to balance out the indulgences with some seasonal activities. Instead of curling up by the fire after dinner, maybe suggest a family walk to see the Christmas lights.
Tip # 4 – Increase Winter Fun Through Physical Activity
Wintery weather conditions don’t mean the fun has to end. From skiing the slopes to skating on your favourite rinks – there are plenty of ways to get your blood pumping during the holiday season.
It may be tempting to lie on the couch and avoid the chilly temperatures but try not to let winter slow you down. Mood boosting endorphins are released while participating in these activities, which can add to your holiday cheer!
Ensure you get the proper equipment to layer up and stay toasty warm during your favourite winter activities. Consider asking those you’re isolating with at home to join you, to encourage everyone to stay active.
If you’re older and looking for low impact activities during the frosty season, try walking or snowshoeing on trails in beautiful winter wonderlands to enjoy scenic views.
Tip #5 – Gift Life Insurance
Having financial peace of mind can be the best present of all! Consider gifting yourself with life insurance this year, so you’ll rest easy knowing the people closest to you will be financially protected.
Once you’ve met your own self-care needs, pay it forward. Keep in mind the wellbeing of your loved ones by giving them a truly meaningful gift – life insurance. As long as you have consent from the person you’d like to insure and proof of insurable interest (evidence that you’d face financial hardship if they were to pass away), then you can give anybody life insurance this holiday season.
The life insurance benefit can help financially protect your loves ones or be left to a charity or cause that you deeply care about.
Speak to an insurance advisor to determine the right plan for yourself or a loved one.
- 1 https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/retail-consumer/assets/653275-2019-holiday-outlook-canadian-insights-en.pdf
- 2 https://www.ratehub.ca/blog/survey-1-in-3-canadians-are-afraid-to-see-their-credit-card-bill-after-the-holidays-but-are-they-prepared-to-pay-it-off/
- 3 https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/heres-how-much-weight-the-average-person-gains-during-the-holidays/ar-BBPa60U#:~:text=According%20to%20a%202016%20study,gained%20during%20each%20holiday%20season.