Staying Financially & Physically Healthy Through the Holidays

Staying healthy means more than just eating right and exercising.  Health requires balance and discipline physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  This time of year, there’s many factors that can make us sick.  One of these is stress and worry about finances during the holidays.

With smart planning, you can avoid going into debt this holiday season and remain financially and physically healthy.

How to Stay Financially Healthy:

#1 Make a list of everyone to buy for. This prevents over-spending with “just-in-case” gifts as well as curbs stress of who to buy for.

#2 List the amount you want to spend vs. the item you want to buy.  For example, write down “I’m going to spend $40 on Aunt Victoria” vs. I’m going to buy her a sweater.  Once you’ve determined the amount that you’re planning to spend on each person, then add everything up.  If the grand total is more than you want to spend, start trimming the list.  Either cross through names or reduce the amount of money you are spending on each person until you reach a doable amount.

#3 Pay with cash vs. credit cards.  If your list adds up to $800, withdraw $800 cash and leave the credit cards at home.  Once you’ve spent all your cash, you’re done.  This will help you avoid overspending.

#4 Make stocking stuffers and gifts vs. buying.  Baked goods, candles, soaps, ornaments, and other creative gifts that you make yourself will save you a lot of money.

#5 Start New Traditions that will cut down on shopping.  Instead of buying a gift for everyone in the family, do a gift exchange where you only buy for one person attending the holiday celebration.  At the office, instead of doing a white elephant gift, suggest donating to a charity.

#6 Don’t buy anything for yourself until after the holidays.  Save buying for yourself until the new year.  If you stick to your 2017 spending plan, reward yourself with a gift in 2018.

#7 Take advantage of the great AFTER Christmas Deals.  Everything gets marked down after the holiday.  Buy gifts for next year and save a ton of money.

#8 Visit CommunityMed Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic.  We are 10x cheaper than the ER, so when you’re sick-we won’t add to your financial stress.

Worrying can have multiple negative health effects.  From muscle tension, headaches, back pain, constipation and diarrhea to more serious things from accumulating stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol in the blood stream, which can affect the glands, nervous system, and the heart, and can lead to stomach ulcers, heart disease, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

How to Stay Physically, Emotionally, and Mentally Healthy When Thinking of Finances During the Holidays:

#1 Stay Active.  Keep seeing your friends and family, do not isolate.  If you have more time because you’re not at work, take up some form of exercise, as it can improve your mood if you’re feeling low.

#2 Get Help.  Don’t ignore the problem.  If it looks like you’re going into debt, get advice on how to prioritize. There is no shame in seeking financial counseling. The sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll be debt-free!

#3 Don’t Over-Eat or Drink.  For some people with money concerns, alcohol or over-eating can become a problem.  You may eat and/or drink more than usual as a way of dealing with your emotions.  Additional consumption won’t help you deal with your problems and could add to your stress.

#4 Keep Your Same Routine.  Get up at your normal time, even during the holidays.  If you lose your routine, it can also affect your eating.  You may stop cooking, eat snacks instead of having proper meals, or miss breakfast because you’re still in bed.  Eating extra nutritious foods, engaging in regular exercise, and getting enough sleep are all tried and true methods to better control stress.

For more Health and Happiness articles from CommunityMed, see our Blog! 

For additional ideas and information on Holiday spending to prevent debt, read this article.