Stress Management For The Holidays

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No matter how much you may look forward to the holiday season, it is difficult to get away from the fact that the holidays can be quite stressful. If you wish to successfully manage holiday stress then you need to have a strategy. Assuming that everything should go smoothly is setting you up to get overwhelmed. Happier holidays do not happen by accident. They are designed.
Creating realistic expectations can be quite challenging because most of us want the memories to be perfect. It becomes difficult to enjoy time with family and friends when you have too many responsibilities and not enough time. I suggest that you think on paper. Make to do lists. Focus on the activities that will bring the desired result. Understand what makes the holiday season special for you. What kind of experiences do you want to create this year? Remember that everything does not have to be perfect. Once you have clarity on this, things will fall into place much easier.
Recognize and accept your own limitations. Plan ahead and create a budget. Don't confuse being busy with accomplishment. Learn from your past mistakes. Better yet, learn from other people's mistakes. Lack of planning ultimately leads to failure. The holiday films that we all enjoy don't show you the crew of staff behind the scenes who set up everything to look perfect. Be wise in your approaches.
Here are some examples:
1)Save yourself a few hours by ordering a cake instead of baking it yourself.
2)Allow a cleaning person or crew to come in once a year during the holiday season to clean your home.
3)Avoid the crowded stores; shop from the Internet or from catalogs. These companies can ship the gifts for you.
4)If you are having an informal get together use nice, sturdy, and disposable plates and utensils. Save the china for the more formal events.
5)Most guests are willing to bring a side dish or appetizer. Let them help.
6)Designate a room children's for play and one for eating. Decorate with an inexpensive tablecloth. Place a few drop cloths under the children's seats to save wear and tear on your carpet. This can reduce lots of stress.
7)Gather your family, order a couple of pizzas and have a decorating party. Create some family traditions.
8)If you have a crowd coming over or people with small children, you can decrease your anxiety by putting up the breakable treasures.
9)Buy a few disposable cameras and place them throughout the house. Tell your guests to take pictures as they see fit. This will keep you from being solely responsible for getting the holiday memories and you may finally get in some of the pictures.

Brace yourself for the upcoming stress of the holidays. Watch out for increased irritability, decreased sleep or feeling overwhelmed. Give yourself enough time so that you don't have to rush. Don't let your mouth overload your back. Learn to say "No". Some simple but powerful advice is: Remember to breathe. By the way, you should expect to feel down right after entertaining and after Christmas Day.
If you are going to be a guest at someone's home, you may want to consider these suggestions:
1.Don't stay too long. You may want to shorten the length of the visit instead of wearing out your welcome.
2.Discipline your own children. If Little Johnny goes wild, then Little Johnny's parents need to be the ones who handle it , no one else. This keeps toes from getting stepped on.
3.Set differences aside. Don't try to resolve past issues at this time.
4.It may be wise to make separate accommodations as a hotel rather than staying at a relative's home.
5.Be helpful to the host.

It is totally normal after being in situations that place you under peak emotional demands that your body and mind will need to regroup. Make sure you get plenty of extra rest.

Helen Keller once said, "The only real blind person at Christmas time is he who has not Christmas in his heart." Christmas is a state of mind. Enjoy the holiday season. There is more to it than baking and entertaining. Make sure they are full of fun and laughter. Create happy feelings and memories. Look at the holidays through the eyes of a child.

The three stages of a man's life:
1.He believes in Santa Claus.
2.He doesn't believe in Santa Claus.
3.He is Santa Claus.

What should you do if you are having a hard time with the holidays

If you and your family are dealing with loss or separation, discuss how you are feeling. Acknowledging how you feel will reduce emotional stress. Holding feelings inside creates tension and depression. Symptoms to watch out for are:

a)Depressed Mood
b)Anxiety
c)Irritability
d)Low Energy Level
e)Restlessness
f)Sleep and/or Appetite Disturbance
g)Feelings of Worthlessness
h)Feelings of Hopelessness and/or Helplessness
Stress Management
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