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How to Handle the Extra Stress At The Holidays

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Here we go again! The holidays are upon us and we are starting the annual process of trying to have the “Griswold Family Christmas”. The list of things to get done seems to grow by the day as we try to correct the problems we had last season and avoid new ones this season. It’s easier said than done. If it’s like Ellen Griswold said in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation-“It’s the holidays and we’re all miserable” then read on.

Here are some tips to reduce your stress levels and help you focus on what matter most to you.

Tip #1 Don’t over-commit and under-deliver

As you enter the season with a blank calendar don’t just add things randomly and don’t commit to doing everything that comes your way. This can be one of the hardest things to do. Between kids school plays, work parties and the friends and family get together, you can easily agree to go to everything without thinking about your overall stress and energy levels.

If you remember feeling overwhelmed last year with all the stuff you “had” to attend. Then this year try to cut it in half. You can always add things back as the inspiration strikes and you can also be more spontaneous if something comes along that just fits the bill perfectly. Learn to prioritize. Do the important and urgent things first.

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Tip #2 Simplify by Considering New Options and Traditions

Just STOP what you are doing and have done! Consider doing things differently. Sometimes a lot of stress develops as you anticipate having to do things, that have brought you to the breaking point in previous years.

If planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning for 25 guests stresses you out. Then consider doing a pot luck. Or going out for dinner. I worked for a man a long time ago who taught me that your spouse should be able to enjoy the holiday too. Not have to spend it all in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning. We have done this and its great to go out for dinner and return to a clean house. My wife would say it’s one of the best Christmas presents ever.

Consider giving a donation to a charity in pace of normal gift giving. It benefits someone who needs it most. Who needs to trade gift cards again this year? Right?

Create a photo slide show on your TV or tablet to let your family and visitors recall special events in your lives that happened throughout the past year.

Get together just for coffee and dessert. Remember stressed spelled backwards is dessert. Keep it simple.

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Tip # 3 Consider Healthy Habits and Celebration Options

Don’t forget to give yourself a present by considering alternatives to the standard Drink and Be Merry method. Cut down on the alcohol and other partying. It’s not helping your health and certainly not going to help if you’re depressed and stressed. Eat healthy and light meals. Feeling overstuffed increases the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Try natural stress relieving methods and supplements. If you have been thinking about trying CBD Oil to reduce stress its now a great time. Sometimes a  plain Vitamin B Complex can make a huge difference in your stress levels as your body depletes these with stress. Also consider Yoga, Meditation or just being more grateful for the positive things going on in your life.

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Just remember to take some time to decompress and enjoy. Maybe, just put the cellphone and tablet away. Turn off the TV and just have a cup of CBD coffee, or Hot Cocoa and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes. If it’s hard to find a quiet place in your house at the holidays, try getting a coffee and just sit in your car while listening to music for 15 minutes. No interruptions.

Much of the Stress comes from the way we put pressure on ourselves and what we believe others expect from us. Learn to set boundaries and just pull back a bit and enjoy what the holidays can bring. Friends, Family and Fun times. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way and let it happen naturally.

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Thanks for reading!

Mark Balderrama

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