Dover Personal Trainer gives tips to manage holiday stress


Although December is one of the most joyous times of year, it can also be one of the most stressful. Even though the giving spirit is in abundance, it can create a lot of pressure to spend money you don’t have, eat food you shouldn’t be eating, and juggle your time to make it to all the Christmas parties.


There have been studies that show December is the time of year when people gain the most weight, from 7-9 pounds, and keep it on through the new year. The key to staying on track with your goals is watching your portions and trying to maintain your weight. But of course, stress is a huge part of eating for a lot of people, so here are some tips to help manage stress during this busy season:

  1. Be realistic

  2. Hallmark has often put in our head an idealized version of what Christmas should be, but so have we! Often times memories of our past holidays, perhaps how our parents decorated the tree or hosted a bunch of holiday parties, make us feel like we need to put 100% of our energy into making Christmas as perfect as it can be. But the reality is that life happens – your car breaks down and you have to pay to get it fixed, the family is busy and can’t make it to Christmas dinner – just try to take a breather and understand that the holidays are not about perfection, but about love, being thankful, and celeberation!


  1. Stick to a budget

  2. Have you ever noticed that listening to Christmas music while you shop makes it easier to buy more? The music is so cheery it seems like everything is going to be okay, even if you did just charge $500 to your account for an ugly sweater you’ll probably only wear once. Money is a huge stress around the holidays. Of course we want to give as much as we can and make Christmas memorable, but going into debt is not worth the financial and emotional struggle that comes with it. You can’t buy happiness or love, so pick a budget you can afford and stick to it! It’s the thought that counts!


  1. Plan ahead

  2. In December your calendar is inevitably going to get booked. Be it a friend’s Christmas party, your kid’s holiday concert, or a work function, it can be extremely overwhelming to look at your calendar and see blacked out days full of events. Overbooking is a real possibility in the holiday season so it is important to plan ahead as early as possible. Try blocking off specific days for shopping and baking so you aren’t running around at the last minute because you didn’t have enough time.


  1. Don’t abandon healthy habits

  2. This may seem like a no-brainer but there are a lot of cookies at Christmas, not to mention so many activities to do that fitting in your workout seems impossible some days. Falling into the trap of “well, it’s only for this month. I’ll get back on the wagon with my New Year Resolutions” is setting yourself up for failure. When you go to parties, eat before hand so you aren’t tempted to partake in all the goodies. Even if you do, don’t beat yourself up about it! Beating yourself up just adds more unnecessary stress to an already stressful time.  Make sure you are moving for at least 30 minutes a day – this doesn’t have to mean bringing yourself to a gym, it could mean blasting some Christmas tunes while you decorate or clean, or wearing sneakers to the mall and timing yourself to see how quickly you can get your shopping done. Before you know it you’ll be working up a sweat!


We hope these tips help you manage your stress better during the holidays!


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