How to Deal With Holiday Stress

Dance Around the Holiday Stress

Here it comes! You can’t sleep at night thinking about the family dinners or the visitation of relatives over the holidays. The push and pull of trying to buy and prepare everything you “need” this year is about to begin.

I do ask you to reconsider. You see, this time is not supposed to be about shopping and spending too much money, or being uncomfortable around people you don’t really like to be with. There are ways to move to and fro around the madness in order to create a great holiday for yourself and your immediate family and/or friends!

1. Stop people pleasing unless it pleases you! Go through your lists of “things to do” and “things to buy.” Re-evaluate what is most important, and put higher prioritizes on the things that will make the holiday special for you and yours.

2. Who is “you and yours”? That’s a good question. It’s not your job to make everyone happy. Which family or friends do you want to make the holidays special for? Now write a “mission statement” about the limitations and boundaries you want to set for yourself to help you focus on your goal! (I keep mine in my wallet!)

3. It’s okay to say “No!” If your relatives are assuming you’ll do something, even if it’s been a “tradition” for years, that does not mean you have to do it again. Bite the bullet and say, “I would prefer to…” and then stick to your guns. You do not have to validate or even really explain why. Tell them this year that you need it to be different. That includes Aunt Billie bringing her three wild children! Ask them to get a hotel so that there is more space for everyone to have some privacy to relax in between family events.

4. Expensive gifts do not equate to love! Simple, easy gifts do not have to be perfect either. Use coupons as a way to spread out the costs.  Offer to cook a nice meal for someone, babysit, make one of your homemade pies, or make a gift of the heart and print and frame a saying or quote that reminds you of that person. Or frame a picture of them with you or someone else they love. We do up a calendar of pictures from the year before and give out to loved ones. It’s always a big hit!

5. And most important, when life is busy, and you can’t afford 15 minutes for meditation or prayer, or just a few minutes of down time… then you need at least 30 minutes! So do the one thing that will keep you calm and stress free over the holidays. Take time every day for yourself. Lock yourself in the bathroom with a radio and dance in the shower, move, and sing in your bedroom. Laugh as much as you can!

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