Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, DaPuglet.

The holidays can be a busy (and often chaotic) time of year. To help you cope with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, University of Ottawa Heart Institute social worker Esther Doucette prepared the list below.

Doucette’s tips for managing the holidays are everything you need to keep your stress in check this season.

Be sure to share these helpful tips with your friends and loved ones.

Wishing you all a happy (and stress-free) holiday!

  1. Practice self-compassion.
    You give to others, don’t forget to take care of yourself. This might include such things as reading a book, relaxing, or spending time with significant people in your life.
  2. Donate something to those less fortunate.
    You can donate food, toys, articles of clothing, or give your time to a cause of your choice.
  3. Send a note of thanks and appreciation.
    Consider sending to a friend, a family member, or a colleague. It might just make their day.
  4. Find time for laughter.
    Do the things that make you happy.
  5. Try to get enough sleep.
    At least 6 to 9 hours of sleep a night goes a long way to help manage stressful times better.

    Get outside, walk, breathe and make snow angels. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, Kevin Yank.
  6. Spend time in nature.
    Breathe in some crisp fresh air, enjoy a winter walk, or just find some peace in watching the falling snow.
  7. Try to do something physically active each day.
    This can help with both your physical and mental well-being.
  8. Be mindful of the small joys in each day.
    Take a moment to notice the beauty in the sights and sounds of the holiday season.
  9. Eat healthy and nourishing food.
    But don’t beat yourself up over a cookie or two.

    Make healthy eating your norm, but a small indulgence or two is okay. Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, Bennilover.
  10. Express yourself.
    The holidays can bring up positive and challenging emotions. Honour these emotions by expressing them in a healthy way. Suggestions include journaling, engaging in a spiritual practice, creating new rituals or getting together with significant others.

Story courtesy of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.