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10 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress (& an Interview on the topic)

Posted Dec 21 2010 11:32am

David Trotter of Launch52.com recently interviewed me for his online TV show about stress and holidays (and stress in general).  Learn more about David or check out the interview here .

As Christmas nears, stress continues to climb.  Below are 10 ways to get you on your way back to happy not (hectic) holidays.

Set a budget. And stick to it! These days I buy “experiences”. For example, my niece and nephew now receive a gift certificate valid for an overnight with Auntie Stacey and Uncle Michael complete with movies, games, pizza, and more.  The rewards are more time spent with the people I love and the opportunity to be part of their lives.

Sit, Breathe and Relax. Taking just a few minutes each day to focus on you, will provide you with the energy needed to continue taking care of everyone and everything else in your life.  Give your body and mind permission to slow down. Need some help? Listen to my free relaxation exercise.

Make time to stay active. Exercise/physical activity is a natural stress reliever and can help guard against weight gain.  Remember you may have to readjust your schedule to fit it in.  Avoid the all or nothing mentality so you are not starting all over in January.

Let go of expectations/Keep things in perspective. The need to be perfect, make the perfect pie, have the cleanest house and buy the perfect gift can be very overwhelming.  Setting such high expectations may set you up for failure or dissatisfaction once the holiday comes and goes.  Take an opportunity to pause and remember what the holidays are really about.

Keep a sense of humor. The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time of year!  Keep things in perspective and stop taking yourself and the hype too seriously – it’s only a couple of days!

Readjust your schedule. Trying to fit a workout into a hectic holiday schedule?  The routine you are used to is off, so you’ll want to adjust your activities accordingly.  You may need to find a new time to get your workout in or perhaps you’ll need to cut it a bit short.  Be flexible during this time of year, and understand it’s only temporary.

Set priorities. Figure out what is important to you, and what really needs to get done. Set your priorities and be satisfied with your decisions.  Maybe you want to attend the work holiday party instead of the gym. Let’s face it, holiday parties are fun, the gym typically is not!  Be happy with your decision to attend the party and commit to yourself that you’ll get your workout in the next day.

Learn to say NO.  So much to do and time is running out to complete your shopping, cooking, and cleaning.  It’s all too much!  Did you know it is OK TO SAY NO?  We physically cannot do it all, and keeping a stretched schedule can create resentment and ill-will.  Saying “no” once in a while ensures that you are doing what’s best not only for you but those around you.

Ask for help. Ask your spouse, children, or others that you trust to help out.  Have them pick up toys, clothes and other clutter around the house.  You can even send them to the grocery store with a detailed list.  You don’t need to take on the holiday challenges alone.  Find support and ask for help.

Enjoy the time. Instead of stressing over every little thing, take some time to just look around. Notice the lights, the sounds, the people.  Give yourself an opportunity to get back to your senses at the holidays and enjoy yourself and appreciate what is around you. If you are surrounded by friends and family, you already have a lot.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

It’s not too late to download the free ebook, How to Feel Good About the Holidays and Get More Presence .

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