As I pondered what to write for today’s post, I came across an article I’d written several years ago. I thought it was fitting to post it here since the Holiday season is upon us.
Deck the halls with lots of family, fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. This was the opening line of my letter inviting family to my house for Christmas dinner. The disclaimer that followed told them: “Due to the state of the economy and the state of my wallet, Christmas dinner will look different this year.” I asked everyone to bring a dish to pass and I would supply the fun and games.
The holiday season can seem hurried with concerts to attend, Christmas programs to prepare and so forth. And that’s just for the kids. Every committee, church auxiliary and board of directors wants your time too. However, there’s no need to go on strike for the Holiday.
Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it, then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Spirituality & Practice gives tips for de-stressing your Holidays. They say the baseline of stress reduction is to take care of your body- get regular exercise, get enough sleep, and limit the amount of caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
Another tip that I found easy to relate to was one that said, “Dose your day with humor.” My kids sometimes make this easy for me with the things that they say. I told my children to make a wish list of items they wanted for Christmas. My teen son went so far as to include prices next to his items (and they were pretty accurate). The ten or so items totaled somewhere in the vicinity of $500.00.
As we stood in WalMart the other day browsing around, my teen son asked me if he was going to receive everything on his list. I doubled over with laughter exercising stomach muscles I didn’t know I had. Once I regained my composure my son just smiled at me and said, “I take that as a no.”
In addition to using humor to de-stress, we must be realistic and know what we can manage during the holidays. Spirituality & Practice says, “Wrestle your perfectionism to the ground and don’t let idealized expectations press you into doing more than you can realistically manage.” It is ok to say no and to set limits. For me, the best part of the holiday is having family over and watching their faces as they wrestle over the best gag gifts.
Take time to notice little moments of beauty-a smile, a gracious act, a loving gesture. It may sound simple, but this does have a calming effect. “Practicing gratitude for these bits and pieces of daily life is a potent way to de-stress, and it’s contagious too.”
For a detailed list of de-stressing click here.
What are your favorite tips for de-stressing during the holiday season?