All Articles Tagged "holiday stress"
Do I have enough boxes and bags? Did I get the batteries for the toys? Wait…where is my tape? Do I have to go BACK to the store? Ughh…
If that’s been your running internal monologue, you may have lost the loving glow of holiday cheer and replaced it with a bitter scrouge attitude. The holidays can and most often are stressful with so many things to do, people to see, money to spend and having to listen to Mariah Carey belt out that last note to All I want for Christmas is Youuuuuu at every major department store known to man.
Let’s all take a deep breath before you strangle someone with their jingle bell. Here are a few ways to keep down the holiday stress…
Seems simple enough but if you’ve ever been to the store for the cinnamon or batteries you forgot on Christmas eve, you know that it’s often a common mistake. Walk through every holiday dish you are going to make. Pull out the ingredients and walk through the recipe as though you are making it right now. This can help you point out what’s missing early and head to the store before the rush. If gifts are the source of your stress, take a hint from Old St. Nick and check your list twice. Have a friend look it over. And if you have toys under the tree, just buy the big pack of multiple batteries just in case!
Is everyone coming to your house for the holiday? Hire someone to clean up. You can generally find a good housekeeper deal on Living Social or in your local paper. Consider hiring a trusted teenager to take care of the task as well. Take one thing off your plate so you can really enjoy the day. If you aren’t great at wrapping gifts, opt for gift bags, pre-wrapped boxes, or having it done at the local mall. You’d be amazed how less stressed you are when you aren’t up wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. Basically, anything that seems like it will eat up a lot of time or cause stress, find someone else to do it for you.
Stop and Breathe
Stop. Breathe. Nap. Try it again. We often forget the simple task of sleeping or resting when there is so much to be done. A quick 20 minute nap may seem like an inconvenience but you will save yourself from crashing later. Before you walk into the mall, again, sit in your car for 5 minutes, breathe, play your favorite song and sing your heart out, then go inside. Those 5 minutes of doing something you enjoy can pick up your attitude and help you feel less stress. Might keep you from cussing someone out over the last gift set too!
Focus on What You Can Control / Be Flexible
Something will go wrong. The toast will burn, the store will be sold out, the snow will come. Focus on what you can control and do that. Waste no time worrying about things you can’t change. Remember the holidays don’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable. Remain flexible to change your plans if you have to and keep your stress down!
Sometimes the holidays are so stressful because we forget what the season is all about. No matter your religion, you can take some time out to serve during the winter holidays. When we serve others, we are reminded that despite what looks like huge problems in our life, we should be grateful for what we do have. If you find yourself getting stressed out just take a breather and serve at a homeless shelter, hospital or nursing home. Remind yourself what it’s really all about and get back out there with a renewed mindset!
How do you keep your stress down during the holidays? Any tips or tricks? SHARE in the comments below.
Dee Rene is the author and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss. http://laughcrycuss.com Follow @laughcrycuss !
The holidays may be about family, giving thanks, happiness and all of that good stuff but that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t go through some rough times. Top of the list is that sinking feeling you get spending all that money to put a nice meal on the table for everyone and gifts under the tree. That harsh reality right there can turn someone’s seasons greeting into the nightmare before Christmas.
Holidays can be kind of a depressing time as many will attempt to buy happiness they can’t afford. So what are we suppose to do? Here are some ways to handle holiday financial stress that will hopefully lift your spirits.
Seasonal Stressers: How To Unwind At Work, At Home, and Everywhere in Between During This Holiday Period
End-of-the-year work crunch. Holiday shopping and entertaining. Crowded public transportation and traffic jams. This can all lead up to major stress. But you can take steps to de-stress and enjoy the season to its fullest.
Stressers at work can be at an all-time high at this time of year, as projects may need to completed before the year’s end, you may have more meetings with potential clients to ink deals to start 2013 off, or you just want to get organized before the new year comes in.
There are ways to elevate pressure on the job, especially before a major presentation or meeting:
- Keep a photo of your significant other or close friend with you. “A minute or two spent looking at the photo before you are ‘on’ can reset your nervous system. You’ll then feel more relaxed and confident because you’ll feel more grounded and at home, even in an uncomfortable or unusual setting,” writes Inc.
- Keep something on your desk to play with, like a squeeze ball. “The process of squeezing and tensing muscles and then letting go–even if just using fine motor movements–drops your heart rate and makes you less nervous. You can also play with beads or roll stones in your hand; that’s why playing with a pen helps many people focus,” according to the magazine.
It’s hard not to bring the stresses from work to home, and during this season you may find more tensions in the household, what with planning family events, cooking special holiday meals, and decorating your home holiday hosting. So it is important to have peace of mind on the home front as well.
- Continue or start an exercise routine. “It always feels like money in the bank when you get your exercise in, in the wee hours of the morning. A good brisk walk or run just before the day begins will work wonders on holiday stress,” explains Marlene Adelmann, certified herbalist and founder of the Herbal Academy of New England. “Take some deep breaths of fresh air, literally fill your lungs. Hold it just for a second or two and then let it out.”
- Sleep works wonders. You will perform better at work and have more energy to get all that Christmas shopping done.
- Skip the coffee. “A cup of chamomile tea after dinner (not right before bed because it may cause you to wake to visit the bathroom) will insure sound sleep,” Adelmann tells us in an email.
- Self massage. Yes, give yourself a massage when your get home. After a long day at the computer or maneuvering all the crowds during shopping your muscles will be tense. The shoulders and neck always hold in tension, so it is a great idea to massage that area. “Reach with your right hand (across your body), resting the palm of your hand on top of shoulder (with fingers on your back) and most importantly with the base knuckle of your thumb pressing against neck muscles,” offers licensed massage therapist Michele Merhib, founder of Elements Therapeutic Massage. “Slowly rotate your head and neck, pressing neck muscles against thumb knuckle. This will massage your neck muscles. Keeping hand in same place, press into your back muscle (between your shoulder blade and spine) with fingertips and rotate your left shoulder blade. Reach and relax the left arm to massage the upper back/shoulder region. Repeat on other side.”
At Holiday Events
The season is filled with may obligatory holiday socializing, whether it be the company Chirstmas party or holiday dinner with friends or family get-togethers.
- Make an appearance and a graceful exit. “If you have social commitment that you’re dreading, be targeted about how you spend your time when you get there. Arrive early and spend a few minutes one on one with the host. Put in your face time, do the necessary networking and be on your way,” advises organizational expert Barbara Reich, author Secrets of an Organized Mom.
- And it’s okay to declines some offers. “Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to those events that you truly don’t want to attend. It’s having too many obligations that makes the holidays stressful instead of enjoyable,” Reich says in an interview.
So take a few minutes to unwind, you will be able to perform at work better, stay energized during your shopping and then enjoy spending time with others this holiday season.
When it comes to managing stress, regardless of whether it’s around the holidays or the daily grind, it’s important to identify early when you are stressed, and how you personally plan to combat those feelings. The holidays offer a heightened sense of stress for most Americans, especially with the intense pinching of pennies this year. Take a good look at the stressors you might feel this holiday season, and how to prevent them from ruining your relationship.