Preventing and Managing Holiday Stress

We are in the middle of the holiday season. Christmas is a week away, Hanukkah starts Saturday. How are you holding up? Are you getting annoyed with the increased traffic? Do you have all your shopping done? Are you spending more then you want to? Are you scrambling to make sure you see your whole family?

Santa can't help with your holiday stress.A lot of us go a little crazy this time of year trying to get everything sorted. Today I want to take a minute and talk about a few things we can all do to manage, or better yet, avoid the holiday stress.

Breathe – In almost every situation, especially ones involving emotional stress breathing will make it better. Now obviously we’re already breathing right now, so what am I talking about when I say breathe? I am talking about deep abdominal breathing. Take a long deep breath in through your nose, feel your ribs and abdomen expand and slowly let it out through your mouth. Repeat this a few times and it will calm down your nervous system and help you think more clearly.

Don’t sweat the small stuff – Sometimes in life things go perfectly. Often something goes wrong.¬†Sometimes they are big things but often they’re smaller, frustrating things. No matter what it is, you have a choice about how you respond to it. You can either dwell on the problem, or deal with it and move past it. Dwelling can ruin your mood and spoil the season.

Eat good/real food – I know there are sweets and fatty foods everywhere we look this season. I’m not saying never eat a cookie, I am saying that make sure most of what you eat will nourish your body. Many of us turn to food to deal with stress but in the long run the high sugar foods make us feel worse. When you need a snack, go for the carrots before the candy.

Don’t be afraid to break tradition – I have heard more than one person this year complain about the stress of maintaining their holiday traditions. Sometimes traditions are wonderful things, other times they’re a lot of work. The question to ask is, is the tradition serving you or draining you? If it’s too much, give yourself permission to make a change.

Practice love – Showing people love, whether they are friends, family or even strangers is a great way to brighten up someone’s day. On the plus side, it will brighten yours as well!

No matter how you spend your holidays, I hope you spend them pleasantly and surrounded by love. I can’t wait to speak with you again in the new year. In the mean time feel free to leave a comment letting me know your favorite part of the holidays.