As lovely as the holidays can be, this whole time of year just seems to pile on the stress, doesn’t it?
There are deadlines at work that need to be met before the end of the year. It’s easy to find yourself obligated to holiday parties every other evening. Then there’s the gift buying that adds to the stress not only because of the number of gifts you want to get, but it adds to your overall financial worries.
What can you do?
The first thing to realize is that while there clearly is a lot going on around you, it’s not the events in themselves, or even the people, that cause you stress, but your thinking about the flurry of activity and potential obligations. Other people’s opinions of how you decorate your house, who’s cooking, whether or not you actually need to send out cards are just that: opinions, and they are not necessarily your opinions.
Traditions and rituals can be fun and create great memories. They can be grounding, particularly for children. It’s important to remember that the relationships are most important, not the rituals and traditions or expectations of others. If it stops being fun and meaningful, and if the memories that are being created are negative instead of positive, it’s time to do something differently.
People often resist change, thinking that they are giving up on something that has always been cherished, so they dig their heels in deeper and grit their teeth, hating the entire process. Remember, the relationships are important, and if you aren’t happy, healthy and energized with good will, then the best-laid plans are going to fall flat.
During the holidays, remember to maintain your own self-care routines. Eat healthy when you can. Resist overindulging in alcohol. Get your regular 7 to 8 hours of sleep, when possible. Drink plenty of water. Meditate every day. Lastly, look for things for which to be grateful.
View the slideshow to read about what you could be doing to manage stress and do things differently during the holiday season.