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Holiday Stress Management



Can you believe the holidays are already here?? Thanksgiving is next week and then Christmas will be here before we know it! While this is generally, for most people, a wonderful time of year, for many of us, it unfortunately is a time of year that brings an added source of stress on a number of levels.

But does it have to?

A lot of the stress we all may experience this time of year, I believe, is often self inflicted and can be avoided, or at least managed, by considering the following suggestions..

Learn To/Be Okay With Saying No

This is huge! There are so many activities and events and things to be participating in/helping out with this time of year. It is okay to say no to things that will just overwhelm you or you simply don’t have time for. No one has ever died because you said no to baking three dozen cookies for your child’s class Christmas party.

Let Go of Expectations You May Have To Do All of the Holiday Things

While many holiday traditions are wonderful, they are not always necessary, especially if they are adding unwanted stress to you during this season. Take some time before you enter into this season to reflect on how all of the things you want to do, or may have always done in the past tend to make you feel. For example..sending out Christmas cards, decorating the entire house with holiday decor, buying gifts for everyone, buying new outfits for your Christmas candlelight service, traveling, etc..

Do these things bring you stress or do you thoroughly enjoy getting to do them? None of these things are necessary to enjoy the holidays. The holidays will still go on if you happen to not get around to sending out Christmas cards this year of just can’t fit it in the budget.  My point here is to encourage you to not be boxed into this picture perfect ideal that you have of what the holidays should look like. Prioritize what is most important to you and brings you and your family/loved ones joy, not stress, and just let the rest go.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

It is okay to ask for help! Once you do, I think you will find most people are usually willing to, they just may not know you needed help until you asked. Make a list of all of the things you need to get done over the course of the holiday season and delegate what you can! Asking for help doesn’t mean that you are less of a person, it just means that you are human. We all need help from time to time and it is so freeing to be vulnerable and let others step in to do so.

Change Your Perspective

Most of the things we all stress over really are a blessing if we can just look at it through a different lens. Are you stressed over how many gifts you will have to buy this year and how much that will cost you? What a blessing it is that you have so many people in your life you love and have the opportunity to make feel special! Stressed about having to host a ton of people at your house with all the cleaning and cooking that it will require? What a gift it is that you have a place to gather with all of the people you love and are capable of providing them food and warm beds! Stressed about not having enough money to buy all the gifts you would like to for your kids and family this year? How beautiful is it that you have such a loving heart that desires to make your kids and family feel so loved and special! Your heart says so much more than things ever how can you get creative? Maybe you plan an experience or fun tradition that you all can do together this year instead that costs little to nothing. These are the things you and your family will cherish and remember much longer than any gift you could ever buy!

Take care of yourself

It is inevitable that you will most likely experience some stress over the holidays, so doing what you can to take care of yourself physically will go along way in reducing your stress load. If you have been following me for awhile now, you know that stress is ANY influence internal OR external that causes or leads to malfunction within the body. That means the unhealthy food you eat, lack of sleep you get, and lack of movement you do within each day will also be a source of stress on your body. So, pack in good nutrient dense meals when you can and be selective with meals/events you choose to indulge in. Don’t throw it all out the window for weeks on end, waiting for the new year as an excuse to eat clean again. You will feel so much better for doing so. Sleep and rest as much as you can. For some, this time of year may be the best time to catch up on sleep if you’re not working or have family members that can help watch kiddos while you catch a quick nap. A tired body is much more prone to feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Lastly, move more. Sign up for any holiday runs you can as something fun for the whole fam to do, get outside and walk if it’s nice, rake your leaves, or do some yoga. Whatever you feel good doing and were doing before the holidays, don’t stop! Exercising will not only give you energy and a clearer mind, but will help burn off some of the extra energy you may overconsume in food.

So there you have it! I hope these suggestions help you have a stress free and enjoyable holiday season!



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