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Dealing with Holiday Stress

The holiday season is probably a very busy time of year for most families. In addition to our regular chores, there is a host of things to take stock of and get done for Christmas and New Years. There’s lots of baking, shopping for food, wine and liquor, gifts and home decor, putting up lights, decorating your tree and living room, getting Christmas cards and mailing them off, getting a snazzy little number for the company Christmas party, and preparing for overnight guests, just to name the obvious. Talk about holiday stress.

women feeling stressed during the holiday season

The holidays can also be emotionally challenging, especially if you’re doing the lion’s share of the work. Then there are the obnoxious and loud relatives that you don’t want to see but run into at a family function. They get your blood pumping and you’re flooded with mixed emotions and bad thoughts. So how can we make this holiday season a calm and pleasant one to remember? Here are a few tips.

Don’t strive for perfection. As much as we want things to go according to plan, life gets in the way and our plans can get derailed and altered quickly. Expect the unexpected. Go with the flow. Stay chilled.

Delegate. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Have a family meeting and assign age-appropriate chores for each member. Kids don’t mind chipping in and it’s enjoyable to get involved.

Budget, Budget. First, go through all your older holiday props and see what you have and what you may need. Reuse, repurpose and refurbish first before you go buying all the cute Christmas decor you see. If you do need any items, give yourself a budget so you don’t overspend.

Plan ahead. If you are having family and guests over, plan your meals and entertainment ahead of time. Make sure you have all the ingredients in your pantry and you may even want to prepare your meals days or weeks before and freeze them. You’ll be more relaxed and enjoy your company.

Healthy Foods. Many use the holiday season as an opportunity to overindulge. Too much sugar can make you depressed, cranky, miserable, feel guilty, is hard on the heart and is addictive. Always have healthy snack and meals planned so you can stick to your diet and maintain a pleasant personality.

Awkward Situations! This is a biggy for any of us. It’s inevitable that during the holidays you’ll run into a party pooper or two at some function. They can be a difficult family member, acquaintance or co-worker. You know who I mean – the ones you keep at a very healthy distance all year long. They’re self-righteous, meddling, nosey and they fray your nerves and make any situation tense. Then there are those who drink too much and get disagreeable and display reprehensible conduct. And what about the Grinches who are bent on destroying everyone’s holiday spirit?

*Always maintain your dignity and be respectful.
*Meditation and deep breathing exercises can be a game changer if you’re uptight. Ommm
*Give the difficult person a responsibility to handle during the event, and let them go about it in their own fashion.
*Keep your subject neutral or hack a conversation that’s going awry.
*Be assertive and remove yourself from an unwelcome conversation.
*Leave or get rid of them – we don’t have to like them.

Downtime. We need to make space during the holidays for ourselves, it’s not all about gifts and parties. Disengage, recharge and restore our energy and get back into balance. Watch those holidays movies, read those long-awaited books, draw, knit, hike, or do something your passionate about but never get a chance to do.

Have fun. Get the family together and plan some games or plan an outing that’s free or inexpensive. Go for nature walks or build a snowman. Tour homes that have beautiful holidays lights and festive displays.

The holidays are a time to be with friends and family you love but without any stress and drama that may surface. Each year we plan for the best, but inevitably we need to always be prepared for the unexpected. Stay lighthearted and open-minded and the holiday spirit will find you.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare provider.

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