Posts Tagged ‘relieving holiday stress’

It’s the holiday season, and for many of us, the time goes very quickly now.

But as you’re racing around, jingling those bells and decking those halls, it’s important to take time to slow down and be present in the magic of the season.

And here’s one way that you can do both







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It’s four more days to Christmas Eve, and unless you’ve gotten things all done in advance, your pace is probably accelerating.

It can be easy to succumb to holiday stress at this point, but stress is what can make you be unkind and uncaring to the folks you love and to yourself, and can spoil the joys of the season.

And that’s no fun. So we don’t want to go there.

In my last post(12/19/10), I listed four things that you can do to cut your holiday stress,  keep your center, and be in tune with the joys of the season.

 I also promised you more. And here they are…

5) NUTRITION – During the holidays, there’s a lot of cookies, party food and fruitcake available (amongst other things). While it’s lovely to indulge in holiday goodies, make sure you’re also getting fruit and veggies, balanced meals, and drink enough water, so holiday tummy doesn’t spoil your good times.

6) DO WHAT YOU LOVE Many times we get so busy doing for others that we forget to do the things that feed our spirits. Or worse, we put them aside because it’s all about caring for others…

But the holidays are about you too…

And doing the things that feed your spirit will actually give you what you need to do more things faster for others.

So be sure to take some time to drive around and look at lights, listen to holiday music, eat a candy cane, or whatever floats your boat.

Balance will lift your stress and let you give your love to others.

 7) CRANKY OR COLD MEANS SLOW DOWN – When we’re pulling together a collection of wonders for the holiday, it’s easy to over extend ourselves. We can do that a bit for the short time ( kinda like sprinting), bt if we do too much, our bodies will let us know. We start getting cold or flu symptoms, crave naps, or ache.

If you’re starting to feel creaky, you may need to slow down, lest you dive into a full-fledged flu or “case of the miseries” (either of which will spoil your holiday). Step back and look at your list. What needs to get done? What can be delegated? What can be scaled back (could you use ready-made cookie dough rather than make your own)? What would be nice but can  be done with out.

The folks that love you would rather have you healthy and happy for the holidays than have the perfect dinner…

8 )  ENJOY THE SEASON Finally, don’t get so tied up in “getting things done” that you forget to have fun. The season is supposed to be about Wonder and Spirit and Joy, and if we let the shopping and wrapping take over, we miss what the season has to give us.

So give yourself some time for joy and peace and caring and compassion…

And have a happy holiday






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Well, we’re in the holiday season and folks are zipping around, buying presents, trimming trees, lighting menorahs, going to holiday events, eating rich foods, overextending themselves and doing all of the other kinds of burning the holiday candle at both ends that can wear you out.

And everyone and sundry is talking about “holiday stress”….

Wanna know a secret? You don’t have to be stressed or depressed for the holidays. You just need to keep a few  things in mind…

1) LEAVE EXTRA TIME  Do you have an amazing plan for all of the wonderful things you’re going to do to make this holiday special? (I know I do…) Have you built flexibility into your plan?

No matter how well you plan, it’s guaranteed that some things are going to take longer than you thought. Traffic jams, extra errands and the great Mystery of unforseen emergencies will happen.

And when it happens, you can roll with it or go to pieces…

Plan for the unplannable. Leave yourself some wiggle time and you’ll have time to adapt to change and enjoy the season. (It also sets you free to be compassionate if people around you need it.)                    

2) REST  – Going to parties? Shopping for presents? Wrapping and baking and decorating, oh my?

It’s easy during the holiday season to stay up too late, get up too early and shortchange yourself the sleep you need in the name of “getting it all done”. Make sure you make getting enough rest a priority so you can be happy, healthy and enjoy the season.               

 3)  GOOD ENOUGH Have all of the wonderful plans you like. Then set a policy of being kind with yourself, of accepting “good enough” as opposed to holding out for “perfect”

Perfectionism tends to lead to harshness, and crankiness, and has spoiled holidays throughout the ages. Good enough, on the other hand, puts the emphasis on acceptance, which helps folks to be kind with each other and themselves, (and this is what a happy holiday is all about)

4) TAKE A BREAK – With so many important things to accomplish, many folks feel guilty if they aren’t making every minute count. This can make you tired and cranky, and cause you to be unkind to the people you’re trying to be nice to.

The answer – take a break.

 Take a break

  • to listen to holiday music;
  • to make contact with people you care for;
  • to watch a funky holiday special on tv;
  • to drive around and look at the lights;
  • to get your center back;

You’ve left extra time, right? Well, a break is one good use for this time to regain your center, and reconnect with the joy of the season.

The holidays can be stressful or they can be wondrous; and the main difference seems to lie in keeping your center, taking care of yourself as well as others, being present in and enjoying the moment,and doing enough without trying to be perfect.

There’s more suggestions for ways to have a happy and balanced holiday on the way…








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How’s your holiday preparations going?  

 No matter which spiritual path one follows, with everything that folks try to accomplish during the holidays, it’s not surprising if folks feel overwhelmed, cranky or downright “bah -humbug” at points. Even if we’re working hard at making merry, we all can use a break or two during the holiday season

 Let me make you an early holiday gift of one…

(It’s a gift that keeps giving…)

The next time you’re feeling anxious, angry, overwhelmed or down, instead of suffering, try this:

Take a deep breath, and

Look up at the ceiling.

(Repeat as needed…)

Give it a try now. Think of something that brings you down (income taxes, your least-favorite co-worker, cleaning out the fridge,…). Notice how it makes you feel,where it hits you in the body and in the spirit…

Then breath deep and look up. Feel the difference?

While it’s no substitute for Prozaac, most people find that when they do this, they feel more positive, centered and able to cope with whatever’s going on in their lives.

Why’s this work?

When we’re stressed, we breath in a short and shallow way. Breathing deeply and slowly triggers a mind-body connection saying “all is well”, and actually puts us in a better place, health and emotion-wise. Looking up seems to strengthen this reaction ( and when I’m facing challenges, I find looking up valuable for spiritual reasons as well…).

I like to think that we’re all hardwired with ways to change our beliefs, heal ourselves, find our centers and create our own best lives.

And, by the by, this technique is not just for the holidays, but works all year long. …

In any case, remember next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or down, breath deep and look up… and have a better day (or holiday).


PS  Just a thought- don’t do this in front of your bossy aunt  Margaret, your boss or any other person that is contributing to stress you’re feeling. They will surely take it the wrong way and this is the path to more stress…





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