Often in my line of work I am asked, “Can you give me some simple ways to cope with the stress of the Holidays?” So in the interest of giving some helpful hints to my clients,
I have created a brief list of things anyone can do to smooth out the Holiday stressors!
- Breathe. Take 5 minutes each day to breath consciously. If you want to include prayer or mediation during this time all the better, but do remember to take long, slow deep breaths.
- Change. Remember that traditions are “someone’s way of denying that things change”. I am quoting a client here but her message is a good one. For myself, I used to insist on making dozens of cookies, and 5 gingerbread houses besides decorating to the nines, sending homemade cards, having our entire family for Christmas. Finally, after ending up in tears after every Christmas I heard my husband say for the umpteenth time, “Why are you doing all this?” And I realized no one cared except me. When I let go of MY expectations, I moved into really enjoying being in the moment and being with my wonderful family. THEY didn’t make those demands of me, I did. And guess what? NO ONE, not even I, miss those once held sacred demands! So check into your own traditions and see if there are some you can let go, to free you up to enjoy things more.
- Simplify your gift giving. If you don’t like to shop, use catalogs or, if you have one, the computer. It saves hundreds of steps and many hours. Better yet, make donations to charities for gifts when and where appropriate.
- Food and Exercise. Remember to eat nutriciously and to continue with your exercise program. Nothing zaps our energy and spirits more than endless overindulging and giving up on exercise.
- Rest. Take a nap when you can. I find that even a 10-minute time out with my feet up can revive me for hours.
- Simplify your meals and support your local talent. There are some great options right in town for precooked yummy and nutritious take out meals. Preorder some of your Holiday meals from places like these or some side dishes for your big entertaining needs to help lighten your load.
- Smile. I’ve noticed that even when I am feeling the most rushed, harried or stressed that my day improves considerably by being kind and friendly to everyone I meet. And you’ll spread goodwill along the way, passing it on to others, who will pass it along to others and so on, and so on!
- Stay hydrated. Take a bottle of water with you in your car as you run errands and when you are busy cooking at home, remember to keep a big glass of water going as you sip your way through the day.
- Give. It is a proven fact that one of the best ways to get out of our own problems and troubles is to volunteer our time, talents and/or money to those less fortunate. There are hundreds of places and people who need what you have to give. What better time than now to start.