Top 10 Tips to Reduce Stress During the Holidays

The holidays can be a joyful time of celebration as well as a major source of stress. The hectic schedules. The constant togetherness. The delicious foods. For a smoker trying to quit, it can feel like the temptation to smoke is as common as a Christmas carol. To master holiday stress management, it’s important to know what tempts you to use tobacco, and how to deal with it.

Nicotine cravings will come and go. But if you avoid your triggers, you can avoid cravings. With the 10 tips below, you can reduce anxiety and have a happier, healthier holiday season.

sleep

1. Stay rested

The holidays can wear you down, which can lead to stress and moments of weakness. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep and take naps whenever you need them.

2. Reduce caffeine

Coffee is a forgotten part of the holidays. We drink it in the morning to prepare for a full day ahead. We drink it after our big holiday meals. But too much can leave you feeling jittery. If you find you’re drinking coffee to stay awake, try resting instead.

infused water

3. Drink water

Water is a great quitting aid. It helps calm cravings and flushes toxins out of your system. Plus, staying hydrated helps you feel better overall. You can even liven up your water with these infused water recipes from Shape Your Future.

4. Embrace the distraction

Like every holiday, there’s always something going on to break you out of your routine. Instead of allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by it, focus on where you are and try to enjoy it.

family baking

5. Talk to someone

Remember: You’re surrounded by friends and loved ones who care about you. If you’re feeling stressed or craving a cigarette, talking to someone can help turn those feelings around.

6. Breathe deeply

Take a few slow, deep breaths — in through your nose and out through your mouth. You’ll feel your body start to relax.

7. Take a break

If you need a break from the constant togetherness, step away for a while. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, try taking a walk, grabbing a drink of water or a light snack.

8. Learn to say no

Throughout the holidays, there will be lots of gatherings and parties. It’s impossible to say yes to all of them. So don’t. Saying no will help take extra pressure off.

meditate

9. Meditate

Sometimes we can’t get away physically. That’s when it’s time to take a mental vacation. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a safe, relaxing place. Stay there as long as you need to.

10. Eat better

When we eat poorly, sometimes we give ourselves permission to do other unhealthy things. Like smoke. Enjoy holiday foods wisely, and avoid eating too much of the less healthy options in front of you.

bonus tip

Whether you’re trying to quit, or just thinking about quitting, you can call 1-800-QUIT NOW anytime for free, nonjudgmental support from a Quit Coach™.

For more helpful tips, visit OKhelpline.com.