Today is my birthday and I’m up at 41K on my way to Israel to deal with some family issues. Oddly the flight attendant on my flight is also having a birthday today.. She got me cake from first class… Waking up at dawn (well not that I really slept) to the sunrise of my birthday and a man praying in the isle next to me…
The HOLIDAY season often brings unwelcome guests – STRESS!
It can come as sadness, loneliness, overwhelm, and even depression.
And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands – parties, presents shopping, baking, cleaning, and entertaining, to name just a few.
But it can also be stressful as during the holiday when some of us celebrate with our close families, it can also be time of feel alone, vulnerable, and lonely.
Here are 7 TIPS to watch for, prevent, and cope with, holiday stress.
1. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be PERFECT or ‘just like last year’.. Allow for change and flexibility. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well.
2. Stick to a BUDGET. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Often we feel the need to spend money to show our love. But many times presence come before presents. And baking cookies or fudge can be economical yummy and fun!!
3. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus, make your shopping list, know how much time it takes to accomplish what you hope for, and take into account that everything takes longer during the holidays, including traffic!
4. Acknowledge your feelings. If you or someone you close to, has recently experienced a loss, or can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. Be honest. Express your needs.
Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship.
5. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. So often we overextend ourselves only to feel spent exhausted and depleted. Set clear boundaries even with family and friends.
6. Make sure to take some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.
Don’t neglect your daily practice of exercising, yoga, or meditation.
7. Take time to do NOTHING AT ALL!!!
So with some practical tips, paying attention, and following some of the above, you can minimize the stress of the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.
Happy Holidays stay warm and may Santa bring your wishes come true!!