Make Holiday Stress Disappear
Historically holidays tend to stress me out. Likewise, I’m sure that they stress out many of you as well. What is it about them that makes them so stressful. Why do we always fall for the sales pitches in the ads on TV and the scenes marketed to us in the storefront displays: that everyone is happier during the holidays; that our lives are better during the holidays; and that we need to be thankful during the holidays for everything we have and everything we’ve accomplished during the year. But why, why should the holidays be different than any other time of the year. Maybe we need to work at keeping the holidays in perspective.
1. The holidays are just one part of the year. The holidays shouldn’t make us act of feel any differently than any other time of the year. The holidays are simply one small celebration in a much larger time cycle. Think of the holidays as just another part of that yearly cycle.
2. Be realistic about your holiday expectations. Limit your expectations. Don’t try to strive for an ideal holiday season; strive for a realistic holiday season. Don’t place unrealistic expectations on the holiday season. Approach the holidays with a realistic view of what will occur.
3. Remove self imposed pressure. Don’t be overly harsh on yourself and what you need to accomplish during the holidays. No matter what you do or don’t do the holidays will still come and go. You don’t need to add pressure on yourself by trying to get an unreasonable number of things done in a short period of time.
4. Take time to reflect. It’s not about what you buy or what you get done, it’s about who you thank and what you have to be thankful for.
5. Make holidays a time to slow down not speed up. Why pack additional stressful things into your schedule. Instead, choose to do something during the holidays that you really enjoy: going to a relaxing movie, taking in a play, going to the art museum, driving around looking at light displays, or sitting at home with a good book.
6. Manage your time. Keep in mind that you don’t miss out on holiday fun, just because you don’t take in every get together and party. You’re the only one that needs to set your schedule. Don’t force yourself to take in more events than you can handle. Limit what you do and who you see.
7. No regrets. Realize that you can’t catch up with everyone and everything. Don’t try to cram a full year’s worth of activities in a few weeks. The holidays shouldn’t be a time for changing who you are and what you do. If you want to make changes in your life, do it during the rest of the year.
8. Lose the guilt. Guilt creates stress. Whatever you didn’t accomplish or didn’t do during the year, don’t let it spill into the holidays. Don’t dwell on things not done, instead enjoy the moment the holidays can offer.
9. Don’t let relatives define your holidays. Relatives shouldn’t define whether or not you will enjoy the holidays. Visiting with relatives doesn’t need to be stressful. Limit interaction with relatives. Don’t overdue the time you spend with relatives. You can choose which relatives you want to spend time with.
10. Take a moment to praise yourself. Take time to thank yourself and think about what you’ve actually accomplished during the year. Yes you have had quite a year, good and bad, but mostly good.
You actually control your own stress level during the holidays. This year make it a stress free holiday season to remember. Set realistic goals and don’t let others define your holidays. Instead of rushing and regretting, make your holidays a time to relax and reflect.