This article was originally published on dLife.com—a website dedicated to helping people with diabetes live happier and healthier lives—as "Tips for a Stress Free Holiday," and is reposted with permission from the author.
Are holidays a tough time in your household? Do you feel that little tightening in your chest when you think of all that you want to do?
Here are 11 great ways you can reduce your stress levels as you usher in a new year.
1. Make a list of the tasks that you need to do.
Create a to-do list and number the tasks in order of their importance. This will help you attack the most important items first. If you tend to worry during the night, keep a pad of paper and a pen on your nightstand and jot down any ideas that come to mind. Knowing that you've committed these ideas to paper should help you relax and return to sleep.
Also on Z Living: 5 Ways To Cut Down On Holiday Hassles & Headaches
2. Increase your physical activity level.
Exercise helps relieve stress. If you are a mall shopper, walk briskly around the mall an extra time to add a few additional steps to your day.
3. Schedule some down time.
Set aside some time each day to sit and relax with a cup of hot tea or coffee.
Also on Z Living: 7 Healthy Hot Drinks To Keep You Cozy All Season
4. Call a friend.
A chat with a good friend can enrich a stressed-out day. If you both have Skype, a free Internet phone service, you can stay on the phone for an extended period of time.
5. Listen to soothing music.
It can help calm you when things become overwhelming.
Also on Z Living: Feeling The Holiday Blues? Find Out Why & What To Do
If you feel overwhelmed with too many tasks, share them with others around you. People feel more valuable when they have something meaningful to do, so don't hesitate to invite loved ones to help you.
7. Shop online.
Shopping during the holiday season can be enormously stressful. More and more people do their holiday shopping via the Internet. You can too. To save additional money, first visit a rebate site such as ebates.com then head over to your desired website. Rebates offer cash back with all purchases.
Also on Z Living: 6 Smart Steps For Budgeting Throughout The Holidays
8. Set aside quality time with your partner or spouse.
When things get hectic, connect with the one you love. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, or enjoy a romantic dinner.
9. Take a bubble bath.
Put on some great music and head to the tub. Just be sure to get out before your toes "prune" up as this can open the skin to bacteria that may cause infections.
10. Sip a glass of heart-healthy red wine.
You can enjoy a daily glass of wine even if you have diabetes (with your doctor's approval). Alcohol can cause blood glucose levels to drop rapidly, so if you do indulge, be sure to eat something to brunt the glucose-lowering effect of the alcohol. If you do not tolerate alcohol or have a drinking problem, do not use alcohol.
11. Give back.
Donate clothing, give money, or volunteer at a shelter.
A stress-free holiday awaits. Enjoy the season. Ho ho ho!