It's the beginning of the holiday season and with the holidays comes stress. Each year we feel a mix of joy and anxiety when we approach the days before holidays. The holidays can bring stress starting in November and go straight through until the new year. We experience a combination of stressors related to financial costs of the holidays, family coming to stay and the conflicts it may bring, and the stress of trying to have the perfect meal and holiday all together. If you're one of those people who feel the pressure of the holidays, here are some tips to help feel balanced, happy and stress-free:
- Remember what the holidays are really about...spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones. It's about giving love and joy to others. Watch your expectation; make sure they are realistic. We try for perfection during the holidays and we tend to forget what the holidays are really about. Remind yourself that the holidays are about being close to your loved ones while everything else comes second.
- Take care of you; during the busy holiday season, we forget about ourselves.. We worry so much about setting a nice table; buying and cooking the food; decorating the house; buying the presents; etc., we forget to take a time out and spend some quiet time alone. Yes, it's the season of giving to others, but make sure to put yourself on your priority list and put yourself high up on the list. If we aren't feeling mentally, physically and emotionally healthy, how we will be able to have a good holiday? The more time you put aside for you, the healthier and happier you will feel this holiday season.
- Start early -before the holiday season is in full swing, start making your things-to-do lists, start your holiday shopping early this way when the holidays approach you're not scrambling for presents. Buy wrapping paper, holiday's cards, etc. Wrap your gifts as you buy them. Be proactive. Havinga lot done ahead of time is a huge stress relief and then you will enjoy going out for any last minute things knowing that the bulk of it is complete.
- Ask for help- there is no reason why you have to do everything on your own. Delegate this holiday season. Ask each person who is coming to prepare a dish or a dessert. Make your holidays, not about the cooking but more about the socializing. If everyone brings a dish this will make your shopping and cooking much easier. Don't feel guilty about it. Each year have everyone make it a point to help each other so everyone can enjoy the holidays. This can also be a great way to clean up after the holidays. Delegate the clean up from the dishes to vacuuming the house. If everyone chips in, it won't be so bad.
- Gratitude- this is the time of year that we should spend more time counting our blessings, remembering what we have instead of worrying about what we don't. Instead of "Keeping up with the Jones's," take a minute to appreciate the abundance of love, health, family, and friends. Teach your kids about abundance. They should know that the most important things in life are the things that make us the happiest: good relationships with family and friends, a partner we can share our life with and a full schedule of social activities that involve lots of smiling and laughing.
*Excerpts taken from Wellness Magazine