It’s the Holiday Season and it can be tinsel, carols and massive stress all wrapped into a neat little package with a bow on top. There’s pressure to buy the perfect gifts. Our calendar can be overextended with friend, family and work parties and gatherings. There may be moments where we think, “how the heck is this the most wonderful time of the year?” Well, we’ve become tangled up in tinsel when we’ve hit that point and it’s doing our utmost to have a game plan and keep balanced. I’ve assembled a of four ways to manage Holiday Stress that makes Christmas and Hanukkah more enjoyable for you and those you love. How great is that?
Hosting three gatherings in two weeks. Having more commitments for your kids, yourself and your spouse than days in the week. Shopping for a list that is longer than you can keep track of. The Season of peace, giving and celebrating the birth of Christ becomes kind of fuzzy when all the things we have to do pile up.
Set boundaries. Prioritizing your sanity and health will make for a more enjoyable Season for you and your loved ones. Being and doing everything isn’t realistic and isn’t healthy. That may mean saying no to something, refraining from committing to an event, etc. When we set boundaries for friends, family and those we work with it ensures a stronger foundation for our wellness. Being on edge during the most wonderful time of the year, ready to snap at any given moment or burst into tears is not what the month of December is about. Call the shots, set boundaries and I promise you your experience will be massively improved.
Yes. I said it. Down time. One of the most important components in the four ways to handle Holiday stress. If we go at warp speed and run in a million directions we miss out on opportunities and experiences with those we love most. It’s staying home and sitting with friends or family on the couch and watching a favorite Christmas movie. Maybe you have a bazillion things to do, but choose to crank up some music and string popcorn. Miss that hot chocolate you had as a kid? Whip up a batch, douse it with whip cream and break out those fuzzy socks.
Time can slip through our fingertips. We have responsibilities and obligations, but when those become the core of our Hanukkah or Christmas Season we’re missing the reason for the season and the beautiful moments that are staring us right in the face. Take time to laugh, make memories and enjoy simply being alive.
Four ways to manage Holiday Stress
Moderation Management. This may go against the Holiday vibe in your mind, but too often we can roll into January feeling emotionally and physically out of sorts. In all things, moderation. It’s ok to enjoy the egg nog, that ridiculously awesome sprinkle cookie and your favorite pie that your co-worker rocks out every year. It’s not only setting boundaries for our time, but our bodies.
If we over indulge, we can end up feeling guilty, lethargic and funky. In the long run, it’s not worth it. So, set some guidelines for yourself. Keep active. Dance along to your favorite Christmas songs, go for a walk and find ways to refrain from allowing the month to become about hibernation and noshing. Our bodies were meant to move and when we don’t it can be emotionally and physically draining.
With so many people facing the first or twentieth holiday without a loved one, the holiday season can be tough. Whether it’s you, a loved one or a friend…be patient and know that it wasn’t meant to be easy.
What we need to remind ourselves is that if we’re aching from a loss, trying to be what and who we were before our loss isn’t fair to ourselves. This may mean allowing for time to regroup, creating new traditions or being ok with others encouraging us or picking up previous tasks that make it less stressful for you. Christmas or Hanukkah can still go on and even incorporating a time of sharing memories of that special someone before the celebration begins is ok. We can avoid the ‘elephant in the room’ and when we give the green light that it’s ok to talk about that person it can be a beautiful thing. But know, in all things, do what is best for your heart and in your timing.
For those who know someone who has faced a loss or struggling emotionally during this month, it’s ok to find ways to encourage or lighten the load of that person. Maybe it’s inviting them for a cup of coffee, dropping off a meal or asking if there’s anything they need. When we take that step out of our comfort zone and find ways to help one another through the loss, grieving process it allows for an element of humanity that we all need.
Four ways to manage Holiday Stress…
If you apply these four ways to manage Holiday Stress will you be greeting December 31st without any anxiety or stress? Absolutely not, but know that when we implement strategies for a healthier us it sets the tone for a healthier mindset and daily practice of living.
Too often we place our needs on the back burner and the whirl wind of December can leave us emotionally and physically exhausted. When we make our emotional and physical state a priority it will set a positive tone for our day, week and month. That’s an amazingly positive thing.
So, it’s not too late to reel in the angst and implement a strategy to manage Holiday Stress. You can do it!
Wishing you a meaningful and blessed Season. Peace, love and goodness!