Emphasize presence, not presents:
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.
LESS IS MORE
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.
GIVING TO THOSE IN NEED
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. http://www.gcfb.org 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,
Lets face it. The holidays are stressful. No matter how you prepare, or how much time and energy you put into readying yourself for the holidays, many holidays will end up being a bit tough for everyone. However, there are many ways you can deal with stress head on during the holiday season!
Many people expect that the holidays have to be perfect, they may run themselves ragged day in and day out trying to create the spot on holiday experience. The first thing to realize is that your holiday does not have to be perfect.
Confronting your ideas about holiday perfection is a great way to begin the process of dealing with holiday stress. If you and your family are already feeling stressed out by the holiday season, there are a few things you can do to reduce that level of stress and make your holiday season a happier one.
The first thing you can do when dealing with stress around the holidays is to prepare for the situation you might be entering into. If you have known stressors during this season, huge meals to plan, or family members visiting that cause you negativity, take some time to relax. Make sure that in the midst of the hustle and bustle you get to take some “you” time.
If some holiday event does not go as planned, know that it is OK. There is no use getting frustrated with yourself during the holiday season.
Many people create undue stress for themselves when planning gifts for others. Remind yourself that whatever you give will be perfect. For most people, just the thought that someone is thinking about them enough to give them something is what really matters.
To deal with stress of the holidays, you must prepare yourself. There are many built in stressors lurking out there, like extra food and drinks, or not enough sleep. Know that this time, like many other difficult times of the year, you need to make sure to give your body what it needs.
Make sure to eat healthy when you can, which will allow you to enjoy holiday meals with family. Make sure to exercise regularly, which is known to reduce your stress levels dramatically. Make sure you are sleeping enough every night. Practice saying “no” when you have over extended yourself.
Yes, the holidays can be trying times, but times that will be filled with love, happiness and fun. Just double check that you deal with stress before it gets the better of you, and you will be well on your way to a happy holiday season!