Holidays are meant to be happy times of celebration, a time for strengthening our relationship with God and our families, a time to relax…but instead we feel tired, irritable, and unable to have a good time.
Why? Because the Holidays bring on additional stressors in our lives and that is when we may be having a Holiday Stress Response!
But first, know your triggers. Holidays often have these added stressors: ...Time pressures (deadlines, too many things to do, extra preparation activities) ...Congestion - long lines and slow moving traffic ...Loneliness ...Lack of finances
While we can’t change others or some of our circumstances, we can take some actions that will help us to better manage Holiday Stress and make our holidays more enjoyable and healthy.
Here are 5 suggestions:
1. Time Management can be one of your best skills for dealing with Holiday Stress. Some people overload their schedule and others need to add some activities to their schedule. It is important to Plan your time schedule in advance. Write your plan out on a calendar to make it a visual of when you can do what you need to do and create balance in your time.
2. Be grateful – count your blessings and be thankful. Then set new goals to move forward.
3. Reach out to others. Join a group to meet others. Meetup.com is a good place to start. Do something for at least one person to help them to balance their time or who may be less fortunate.
4. Creative Gift Giving – don’t feel pressured to go the traditional route with gift giving. Some families exchange names or agree to only give an edible present. 5. 10-Second Relaxation Response – Whether you are standing in a long check out line or waiting for traffic to move or some other situation when you feel you are about ready to lose it… try this little exercise to help you to remain more calm. Practice it in advance so you have this ready for the next time one of your stressors begins to get to you. .Take a deep cleansing breath .Think to yourself “My Body does not need this stress.” .Take another deep cleansing breath and picture calmness coming down over your head and moving into your body as you breathe deep .Exhale - Feel the tension leaving with your exhaled breath .Continue to breathe and remaining in control while dealing with the situation.
Don’t let Holiday Stress get the better of you this season. Plan now to implement one or two of these suggestions to help you to have a more enjoyable and healthy Holiday.