Get Through the Holidays Without Losing It

The holiday season is a stressful time of year. We function best when we feel physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually balanced. The more stress we have, the more imbalanced we feel. We feel better and enjoy our lives with low stress. Stuff happens that cause stress during the holidays. They fall into several categories; family, finances and expectations. We can limit the negative effects of stress by Re-assessing our holiday priorities; Enlisting help or support; Sleeping; and Taking our time.

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Family gatherings can be very stressful. Participate in those activities that you enjoyable and that help you relax. Some of us feel obligated to attend specific family gatherings or events. If these gatherings cause excessive stress, limit your time in the situation. Arrive shortly before dinner or leave immediately after. Certain family members may cause extreme anxiety, increasing your stress level. Participate in activities; choose your seating; or adjust your conversation to limit your interaction. Ask other family members to help you avoid contentious interactions. Discuss and negotiate with your spouse or partner to decide the extent of your family participation. Agree on an approach that will satisfy your immediate family’s needs.

Use Your Power

Single people or those in uncommitted relationships have the freedom to choose their holiday activities. Stress may occur due to an expectation or a desire to be in a committed relationship. The holiday season are marketed to and for families leaving some singles feeling inadequate or left out. Those in uncommitted relationships have the flexibility to choose where and how they spend the holiday season. Fly to Paris, Rio de Janeiro, stay home or visit grandma. Go to these places with or without a date. It is your choice and choice is power. Choose the most satisfying option.

Give the Gift of Time

Gift giving contributes to high stress due to the financial implications. The best gifts are those that build memories and have meaning for the giver and recipient. Develop a budget that will allow gift giving without racking up debt. A popular and relatively inexpensive gift is that of time. Commit to spend dedicated time to individual family members or to the family as a whole. Couples may reignite, rekindle or reaffirm the romance that brought them together. Children and teens may learn to communicate openly and to trust the counsel of their parents. Committing to spend quality time with loved ones is not as sexy as a diamond watch or the new iphone, however, it is a gift that does not grow old or wear out.

Expectations may be one of the most difficult stress related issues to address. Expectations are based on tradition, history, and perceived needs. They are also shrouded in feelings. Family members project their own expectations onto others. That is why we struggle with expectations. As with feelings, we should handle expectations with care and understanding.

May You And Your Family Have a Blessed Holiday Season

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