Deal with Stress During the Holidays

It is that time of year again; that whirlwind of gift-giving holidays, marketing blitzes, holiday parties and activities galore that begins right after Halloween, builds to Thanksgiving, and continues gaining momentum through the end of the year.  For many this is the most favorite time of the year, but for others it is filled with pressure and stress.  My strategy for dealing with stress during the holidays is simple, “do less and be more”.

The holiday season is also a time when many of us spend time with family members that we may only see once or twice a year.  Seeing people that may emotionally charge us is one of the biggest holiday stressors.  Before seeing those individuals that cause you stress, take time to do some deep meditative breathing.  Think about the situations that may arise and bring you stress, contemplate what you may do differently in this situation instead of your typical reaction to this stressful person.  While breathing think about what it is that you are thankful for.  By finding something to be grateful for it crowds out other feelings of resentment and annoyance.  Another option is to reduce time spent with certain family members if you find it too uncomfortable.  Give yourself permission to strongly consider this.

When we over-do we spread ourselves too thin and we are left feeling frazzled.  It is easy during this time of year to fill up your schedule with every holiday party that you are invited to.  Commit to less events and the truly enjoy the people at the ones you attend.  Being with friends, family and co-workers at this time of year is what the season is all about anyways.

With the marketing promotions out there it is hard to resist spending and buying.  There is no reason to finance your holidays for the next six months, which will inevitably cause more stress down the road.  Be reasonable with holiday spending.  You can also tell your children/family members that you are setting a limit on spending for each because that is the responsible thing to do. You can ask them what type of gift(s) they would like within your holiday budget. This also gives them choices.  Keep in mind that you are demonstrating financial responsibility and boundaries to others and avoiding later debt and stress.

Please remember the ones who are truly in need of holiday cheer this time of year; don’t forget to donate to local charities. If you feel moved to help feed the hungry in metro Detroit, Gleaners Food Bank, a wonderful organization allows for online donations.   There are many hungry people that will not have the spread of holiday foods we may take for granted.

Above all, this holiday season to take time to be present to all of the wonderful people in your life; time passes by much too quickly.  Enjoy the time that you do have with those in your life that bring you joy.

Blessings to you and your families,

Donna Marie