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Six Stressbusters for the Season

Almost everyone loves “the holidays” and looks forward to this time of year as a very special one for families. I often think with empathy about people who are experiencing loss; loss of a loved one, loss of a job or some other reversal. However, for most people, this time of year is contagious with craziness. Here are six ideas to think about before stress gets the better of you!

  1. Just say “Whoa!”—Stop, Look, Listen. Use your senses to live in the moment. Instead of working yourself up next time you are in a long line, use the time to experience all of your senses. PS: This may work better if you are sitting in your backyard, on a gorgeous day with a cup of Starbucks, but oh well…

  1. Jettison the Junk—Simplicity helps minimize stress. In times of great stress, simplicity really helps! Get rid of the rituals that only you seem to care about and concentrate on the essentials that make your holidays special. Perfection is not the goal; memorable family time is!

  1. Find the Humor—Laughing is therapeutic. Keep your favorite movie or book nearby and yuck it up with the kids. Sometimes our high expectations can raise the stakes so much that it’s hard to just enjoy what really happens. For families who have recently experienced loss, the holidays are bittersweet. Keep in mind, the holiday is just another day and that you aren’t the only one who may feel this way.

  1. Spread the Love—Don’t forget that this is one of the greatest times of the year for making those special memories. (OH NO! I just stressed you out!) Ask your kids what they love best—you may be surprised. My son told me it’s the way the house smells when I make my holiday dinner. I like to remember my favorite visual image: Love isn’t like a pizza—where everyone only gets their piece and it’s gone. Love is like a waterfall and it just keeps on flowing. So let your “I love you’s” flow. Minimum cost, maximum joy!

  1. Do the Best You Can, then Let It Go—My favorite part of the holiday movie about Ralphie and his Red Rider BB gun is when the dog eats the turkey! Sometimes you have to just let it go…

  1. Treat yourself—You are the conductor of a great orchestra of effort and action. Take time during the season to treat yourself to the things that make you smile.

Wishing you a low stress, highly memorable holiday season.

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