As a medical or dental professional, you’re used to being on your feet a good portion of the day. However, you know the holiday season can bring even more chaos to your already packed schedule. Read on to find strategies to maintain both your physical and financial health during this busy time.
“Our bodies have the capacity to do a little more than we normally do, but our bodies do not adapt very well to doing a lot more than we normally do. Since the added demands of this season can stress the capacity of our bodies, we need to do everything we can to help ourselves,” wrote Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA)’s Council on Occupational Health. So, when running across town or wrapping stacks of gifts late at night, take a few simple measures to prioritize your own well-being.
A break every 45 minutes can help you push through several hours at the mall. It’s also important to wear shoes with cushioned soles and plenty of arch support, as well as layered clothing so you can comfortably transition from the frigid outdoors to the warmer environments of your favorite stores.
When it comes to wrapping gifts, Dr. Bautch advises you to avoid sitting on the ground. Rather, vary your positions; for example, you could start standing at the kitchen table, then move to a comfortable chair in the living room. “When wrapping presents, it’s a good idea to ‘stretch the opposites,’” recommends Dr. Bautch. “In other words, if you are leaning forward when wrapping your gifts, stretch backward when you are done.”
Your mental health is equally important as you juggle additional tasks through November and December. Dr. Bautch says, “During the holiday season, we’re running at absolute maximum capacity, which can lead to stress and even depression. Staying active, stretching and staying hydrated can help increase our capacity, to help us deal with the activities of the season.”
You may also know about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness in daily life. Even five minutes of meditation per day can stimulate better brain function, and higher quality of sleep. To get started, you might consider downloading an app like Headspace and Calm and trying a guided meditation.
Holiday spending can wreak havoc if unchecked. You may choose to buy only high-end items for close friends and family, while sharing homemade fudge or a thoughtful card with colleagues and acquaintances. Or, you might want to buy middle-ticket items for many people. No matter what you decide, start by calculating the total amount you’re comfortable spending. And, start allocating a portion of what you plan to spend on holiday gifts as early as possible, so your bank account takes less of a hit in December.
Holiday parties should be something to look forward to, not dread because of long food prep time. If hosting a party, don’t feel pressured to supply all food and drinks. Invite friends to share favorite dishes, and try not to go overboard on decorations. Fun games like secret Santa can be a good way to share gifts with friends, without stretching your budget even further.
Another way to prioritize your finances during the holiday season is by optimizing your airline travel. Apps like Hopper will track flights for you, and let you know when prices are likely as low as they’ll be. Cyber Monday may also be a great day to score discounted airline tickets.
While the holiday season is full of joy and time with family and friends, it can lead to significant stress. Careful planning and self-care techniques like meditation can help you enjoy it to the fullest.
Are high student loan interest rates taking away from your holiday spirit? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Commerce Bank. We’ll help you understand all repayment options, and make a plan to optimize savings.