As Holidays celebrations approach stress is building up and we all try to survive this time sane and healthy. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or other celebrations – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals – for more about winter festivals) we are all up to face Holidays Stress.
There is so much pressure to conform to an idea of what we should be doing at this time of year. Do you really need to respond to all of the images we see around us in the media, what others do? There is a lot of pressure and that can create immense difficulty to hold it together. In fact it is known that Holidays can bring not only an a lot of stress but sometimes depression (and this is not the case just for lonely people, that is why they call them Holidays Blues).
Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help you manage some of the stress. Give up perfectionism, celebrations are not a competing ground for perfectionism. Most families change and grow, so luckily traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few traditions to hold on to if you want and be open to creating new ones or give some up altogether, it will not be the end of the world. Accept others the way they are, avoid grievances for other times of the year and be compassionate when you see others blow a fuse ( they are probably under stress as well, better offer a hug, and if you can try to get eight hugs a day yourself it is a great way to get some love.
Stick to a budget, but if you really need to conform to gift giving just find some that will be less consumerist in nature, a spa day, a massage or anything that will help distress somebody. It is as valuable as the toys that will be left in the corner after 3 weeks. Parents with young kids is your chance to teach new habits. Or get inspired by the original reasons of why we celebrate winter solstice, or other rituals. It is not about how much the gift costs is about how much it costs you the gift (both in terms of $ – how will your credit card statement look like in january, but also the stress that accumulates and can make you sick).
SAYING NO! – learn to say this magic word – it will help you avoid a ton of resentment and frustration. Keep your healthy habits if you have them if not start a new one right now. It does not have to be a big one. Take a walk, take a dance class, a hot bubble bath with a nice candle and essential oils, hug your pet, better even adopt one but under no circumstances, don’t buy one now! Help break this terrible habit that keep the abuse and abandonment of animals at such a rate. Volunteer it is know to help one feel better so go out there and give some time, maybe even for an animal shelter be it with some of your skills or by fostering an animal who is waiting a forever home.
Allow your creativity to play in and be grateful for what you have since we forget to count our blessings. Meditate (focus on your breath where you feel it most distinct on your body, allow the stressful thoughts go away like clouds in the sky), after 10 minutes you will feel much better, more calm and relaxed.We know that once stress is high up it is difficult to stop and regroup that is why it is wiser to prevent it than. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays. If needed ask for help don’t suffer alone.
This time can be a great time for reflection, to notice how this year unfolded and the situations we attracted to our lives. Think about what next year, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound) goals, set your intentions and lay out a plan of action. It’s the best time to stop and to pause. To just be. Notice what is and consider what’s really important in our lives. What we would like more of ? What it is really important?
With these thoughts in my mind and gratefulness in my heart I wish you Peace, Joy and keep Calm for the Holidays!
At least once this Holidays Season try to do something to get into the same state this cute cat is able to.
I can help you get there!