I’ll mark the day—November 9. I had gone out for a lovely brunch with my wife before stopping in at the pharmacy to pick up some toothpaste. When we walked through the door, it was like we’d entered Santa’s village. Christmas decorations, gift idea, chocolates, and, of course, Christmas carols.
It’s quite possible we missed the “Christmas creep” altogether and were swept up into a Christmas vortex.
And look, I’m no scrooge. I love Christmas and the entire holiday season. But it’s November and I’m not sure I can handle hearing “jingle bells” every time I need to run an errand.
Hearing Christmas songs before November or even Thanksgiving can be a major stressor for some people. Some psychologists insist that the songs can serve as a constant reminder of the endless “to-do” lists of the season, as well as stir up old memories that may be less than fond.
The more frequently these songs come on—and become increasingly inescapable as November turns to December—some can begin to feel overwhelmed. This stress can take a toll and present some potential health concerns. Holiday stress can make it difficult to sleep, wear down your immune system, and leave you feeling far from your best self.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely block out the sounds of the season. But here are some ideas that might help:
- Make sure you’re eating enough magnesium. Estimates suggest nearly 50 percent of American adults are deficient in magnesium, a nutrient that can play a major role in relaxation and sleep. Adequate magnesium can help your mind and muscles relax so you’re less stressed and able to get better sleep.
- Stay active. Yes, it’s cold outside, maybe even snowy. But getting outside for some fresh air and a few laps around the block can help you de-stress and feel your best for the season.
- Ignore it. You don’t have to get involved in all things Christmas. Come up with a schedule that works for you so you can move through your holidays on your own terms. A schedule can give you the confidence you’ll accomplish everything you need.
- Shop online. If you can stay out of the shops that drive you crazy, you’ll have a happier holiday. Buying groceries and gifts online for the next month can be a major source of relief—just don’t wait too long. Couriers and mail carriers get backed up this time of year.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness may help deal with the stress when it hits to help slow things down and provide perspective.