Avoiding Holiday Stress

1.  Creating Balance
Juggling your schedule to fit more in is not the same thing as creating balance.  Balance is an inside job.  It is when you face demanding situations while maintaining an inner sense of peace.  Taking time to stop and breathe will help you restore your inner balance.

2.  Managing Choices
The Holidays are a time when there is an abundance of choices.  Be aware that the choices you make today will either increase or decrease the holiday stress and/or the holiday depression you feel in the future.  Think through what you say “yes” to and make frequent use of the word “no.”  Choices can be about what you eat, how much you drink, what social events to attend and what you spend just to name a few.

3.  Avoid Sleep Deprivation
Most American’s suffer from a lack of sleep.  Do you try to get more done by staying up later?  At the holiday’s this is especially common.  As a long term strategy this will result in more stress and a lower ability to respond to the demands of the season.  Take care of your body and your physical needs so that you have more reserves to respond to the emotional and physical demands of the season.

4.  Don’t miss the Present
As you shop for presents, ask yourself, ” Am I present?”  In other words, are you fully experiencing what you are doing?  It is easy to be so focused on just one day, or one party, or one family event that you miss all the experiences leading up to it.  Then the holiday’s feel like a “blur” and you feel like you have missed something.  You may have.  

5.  Stop Every Day
As the demands of the season increase and pressure builds, it is easy to have all of your activities begin to run into each other.  Your life starts to revolve around the word: “Next.”  You lose the time to stop and reflect upon what you are doing.  Possibly losing the chance to savor the moment.  Give yourself a gift, take time each day to be quiet, just with yourself, to reconnect with yourself, remember who you are, what you are doing and why you are doing it.

6. Be Courageous
The Holiday’s are a season when many people; loved ones, friends, family & coworkers will place demands on you.  Make a promise to yourself to test their expectations against your values.  do what is in alignment with your values.  Maybe you would rather have a casual holiday meal instead of an elaborate sit-down feast.  Maybe you would rather call friends instead of addressing cards.  Maybe you would rather donate to charity instead of buying gifts.  Be clear about who you are and what your values are….Stand up for yourself and be Courageous

7.   Ask for Help
You don’t need to do it all or be it all.  Look for people or services that can give you support.  You can easily of twice as much with the help of others.  But that means you need to ask for their help.   Don’t expect others to be able to read your mind.  Know yourself well enough to recognize when you need help.  It can be foolish and more stressful to do it all alone.

8.  Eat Well & Exercise
This time of year is especially important to make wise food choices.  It is also important not to neglect your normal exercise routine.  Use moderation instead of starvation order to enjoy a variety of foods.  Doing this will allow you to enjoy the season without the guilt of overeating.  Take time to exercise, breathe in some fresh air, and remember to take care of yourself!

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