Managing Your Holiday Stress

As the holidays approach, most of us feel an increase in our stress levels.  Our lives become busier with events and expectations while the clock continues to tick towards the end of the calendar year.  We have many choices when it comes to managing our stress and some strategies are more effective than others. 

As we head into the holiday season, consider experimenting with 3 methods of stress management that offer the best chances of success. 

#3 - Values & Life Purpose:  Does your family Christmas foster a competition around gift-giving?  Do you feel driven to find the best or most expensive present for everyone?  Consider using your values and life purpose as a guide to your decision making.  By doing so, you are engaging in high level thinking and less likely to make the emotional purchase. 

#2.  Reframing:  Are you trying to get that renovation complete before the holidays?  Are you frantic about getting your home ready for guests?  Reframing means to take a new perspective.  It is one of the most important skills a human being can use for mental health and success in life.  What is another way to look at this situation?  Are you making choices about this short season that will have a lasting impact in your life for months to come?  If so, are those choices serving you or hurting you? 

#1. Mindfulness:  Mindfulness is a word that is being used a lot right now.  Going beyond the fact it’s becoming a buzz word, mindfulness simply means bringing your awareness to the present.  In our busy lives – particularly at the holidays – this is an extremely important strategy that any one person can develop.  The holiday season is not a happy time for everyone.  In fact, it can be very difficult for people who feel alone or are grieving.  It can be tempting for people to suppress or deny these feelings.   Employing a mindfulness strategy can mean learning to meditate, but it can also mean sharing your feelings with someone who will really listen to you and help you place your attention on the present rather than past regrets or future worries.

As we begin this holiday season, it is our wish you are present to what is happening in your life, that your values drive your actions and that you find freedom in taking a second look at something that causes you anxiety.  Here’s to a low-stress Christmas!