I’ll start with a question. What do you psychologically connect with the words Christmas Holidays? Is it happiness, spirituality, gratitude, replenishment and enjoyment. Preferably your answer to that will be yes.
But, I know that for many families the tensions and strains of Christmas can take their toll and I understand how essential vacation anxiety management can be at this time of year. Lets look at the best ways I know to manage stress during the holiday season.
Think about this for a moment. This season might be a time of real religious significant or relevance for you, or a priceless opportunity to hang around with more distant members of your household, or perhaps it simply offers you a much needed break from the pressures of work that you need the most.
What is the most vital thing for you this Christmas holiday?
So if you’re clear about that, how can you plan to make sure that your requirements are fulfilled?
So to assist you to work out how you can maximize your own wellbeing this Christmas I ‘d like to offer you these 8 easy pointers.
1. Set practical expectations
Lots of people get caught up in the fantasy of Christmas time without ever stopping to consider exactly what is truly essential to them. Maybe you are among them. Be realistic. There is no such thing as the best Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holiday celebration. Something (or numerous things) will likely go wrong during the holidays. Preparing for the unavoidable missteps will help them seem less devastating when they happen. A tree that leans a little or burning a batch of cookies will not destroy the entire event.
2. Be careful of the words should, ought and must
If you can hear yourself saying “I should, ought or must do something”, think thoroughly about exactly what you’re truly discussing. Is that really your goal or are you jeopardizing yourself to fit in with the desires of somebody else or the expectations of society?
Obviously Christmas is naturally a time of give and take but nothing causes tension, tiredness and resentment quicker than compromising yourself for someone else.
So keep an eye out for the number of times you say those words over the Christmas holiday and allow yourself to say no a little more frequently.
3. Offer yourself some time out.
Everyone requires some alone time to loosen up and regroup. Setting aside even simply 15 minutes a day without distractions, can freshen you enough to help you tackle you order of business. Unwind by routinely practicing yoga, meditation, mindfulness, paying attention to calming music, taking a walk, or reading.
4. Planning, Planning, Planning
Plan ahead. Mark your calendar with particular days for baking, wrapping, shopping and other activities. Plan your menus and make your wish list. Try shopping for one person at a time, it just takes an hour to wander the mall and target just one of your family or friends’ presents. Do this well in advance and you’ll feel more in control by taking on one person’s gifts at a time.
Better still, avoid the headache of standing in long lines and defending a parking spot at the mall by shopping online.
5. Learn to Delegate
Realize that you do not have to do it all on your own. Asking for aid has a number of advantages; firstly you take the pressure of yourself and share the responsibility for things working out, or not working out. A burden shared is a lesser burden.
Learn to say no. Saying yes when you ought to say no can leave you feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Don’t overbook yourself and explain to family and friends that while you’re busy now, you ‘d like set time aside after the vacations to spend quality time with them.
There is another reason requesting for aid is a good idea – because it gives you a terrific chance to bring your friends and family together as a team, particularly if you have little ones who can get included and that’s a great thing to do at Christmas time.
6. Know what triggers your stress
Keeping your sense of balance and perspective are crucial if you are to remain centered and actually enjoy the Christmas holidays and to do that you need to be aware of exactly what your tension triggers are.
What is it that makes you truly tense? Maybe it’s the kids squabbling over trivia, anxiety about how a present might be gotten, or how to manage the complexities of a perfect Christmas lunch.
Exactly what is it that’s likely to pull you off balance?
If you get stressed, how does that affect you. A short temper, tension headaches, or possibly stiff neck muscles?
By understanding your tension activators you have a much greater possibility of stopping them from overwhelming you and you can then take active steps to release the pressure.
7. Gratitude is vital
I know many individuals, especially those with tendencies to be perfectionists, who get so caught up on focusing on the things that could go wrong. This sort of negative thinking can be immensely draining, disturbing and exhausting but stopping it can be difficult. So the trick here is to intentionally override any negative thoughts with favorable ones, however incorrect, strange or mechanical it might feel at the time.
A terrific way to do this is to think about a minimum of 5 good things that could happen on your Christmas day – at the end of the day, when you’re ready for bed, think about the great moments that could happen on the special day – those little things that make the time so special. The hugs from your loved ones, the look on the kids faces as they open their presents, the aroma of the turkey cooking, the prettiness of the buffet set with all the delicious dishes, the shiny baubles on the tree, the laughter from your friends and family as they enjoy each other’s company.
Also, make certain each night to list the things that you have achieved today. They don’t need to be big things, think about the small everyday things that have assisted to make your day enjoyable. For example, today my five things today include gratitude for the charming bright sunshine reflecting off recently fallen snow, a great smile I got from the kids in the village and the generous assistance I received from the girl serving me in the post office.
Simply focusing your attention on a couple of small advantages each day is an excellent way of releasing tension and preserving a positive state of mind.
8. Everything in small amounts
Eat, drink, consume, consume and be merry … in moderation. It’s difficult not to overindulge this time of year. The elaborate display of food and alcoholic beverages at all the vacation celebrations can be quite appealing. Counsel yourself prior to going to any occasion that over-indulging and drinking is not just unhealthy, but you’ll have to handle the guilt and the weight gain long after the goodies are consumed – giving you yet another added tension.
Gift giving too, should be done in moderation. We are a society of consumerism but being so self indulgent is not healthy – for our budgets or for our psyche.
For big families, shopping for 15 individuals or more can be really tough. Besides determining what to get for everyone, it can be so pricey. Consider streamlining present giving by drawing names out of a hat. Everyone can then be responsible for a gift to the one member of the family they pick. We call it Kris Kringle or Secret Santa. Some families may choose to purchase just for the children and have a Secret Santa for the adults.
So my final suggestion for the festive period is to put in the time to laugh, commemorate and acknowledge all the important things you are grateful for. This holiday season, don’t be too tough on yourself, strategize and organize your time, do not over-extend yourself and give yourself some “me” time to relax and regroup. Enjoy your holiday, you deserve it.
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