Holistic Life Practitioner (certified by Dr Deepak Chopra,USA)
The holidays offer plenty of reasons to be stressed and anxious – the gift wrapping, keeping the kids entertained, office parties and the list goes on….
For many, the biggest source of holiday stress is family – family time together, the obligations and traditions.
Family relationships are complicated. With holiday family reunions looming, here are a few tips to help prepare you to cope and help ease the Holiday Blues.
- Keep your expectations balanced and realistic.
You won’t get everything you want, things go wrong, and that’s OK.
Everything won’t be perfect and some things are out of your control.
We shouldn’t expect all fun and happiness – there will be ups and downs just like during the rest of the year.
Changes in routines with young children may make them feel “off.” They may hate their dress-up clothes that Grandma sent, and are at their limits by dinner time.
- Make Personal Time a Tradition
Whether you’re the host or the houseguest, large groups of family and friends under one roof can be over whelming.
“For me, a holiday stressor is family visitors with their unique scheduling demands,” says Salochanee
Reddy, Founder of The Equilibrium Wellbeing Centre. By planning ahead, you can enjoy some personal time without offending your visitors. A break in the action is good for everyone and will give your house guests some personal time too.
- Don’t try to do too much–Take an Organised Step Back
Fatigue, overscheduling, and taking on too many tasks can dampen your spirits.
Learn to say no, delegate and manage your time.
“The only thing that really stresses me out is having too many things to do,” says Salochanee Reddy. “To deal with it, I step back and take one thing at a time.”
When you start feeling overwhelmed, take a break – listening to your favourite song, grabbing a quiet bite to eat, or meditating—can make a big difference. Create a “to do” list, and divide it into manageable chunks. When you complete a task, cross it off the list! The sense of accomplishment will lower your stress.
- Watch your diet and remember to exercise– Be Active, Be Happy
It’s normal to eat more during the holidays, but be aware of how certain foods effect your mood.
If you eat fats and sweets, you will have less energy, which can make you feel more stressed and run down. In the midst of chaos find ways to lower your stress level and take care of yourself.
A key way to de-stress is to exercise. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to skip exercise. Let it be the opposite.
Endorphins released during physical activity act as natural pain and stress relievers, helping regulate appetite, release sex hormones, and boost the immune system.
- Plan ahead. Many people don’t go to the mall in December, try to avoid shopping stress
– do most of your party and gift prep in advance. Be Creative, Save Money
The financial pressures of the holidays can easily cause distress. Don’t overspend. Create a budget and stick to it. Remember it’s not about the presents, it’s about the presence.
“I find that the financial stress of the holidays can really get to me, but I also realize that giving gifts is part of the fun,” says Reddy.
“I try to be creative, which usually means making my gifts more personal or more focused on a shared activity— like a hike or going out to the movies on me.”
Having a creative outlet is an effective stress reliever. Avoid fighting your way through a crowded mall full of stressed-out holiday shoppers and spend a quiet night at home with a glass of wine and a fun gift-making project.
- Learn forgiveness, acceptance and have some faith: Religious, Secular or Personal
If some of your relatives irritate you, chances are that won’t change. Don’t them push your buttons. If things get uncomfortable go out for a drive.
- Don’t Isolate Yourself
If you’re feeling left out, in mourning or separated from a loved one, create something for yourself or get out and find some way to join in.
Giving to others is very healing. Volunteer at a place where people need you – it’s amazing to give to others, especially when you’re feeling down.
- Be aware of the Post-Holiday Syndrome
When all the hustle and bustle suddenly stops and you have to get back to the daily grind it can be a real let down. Ease out of all the fun by planning a rest day toward the end of the season.
- Practice long DEEP BREATHING when your tolerance and patience level is rock bottom.
Be loving and kind to yourself. I have a mantra for these challenging times…“This too shall pass…it is what it is”
May the holidays bring you all the love and joy they can, and may the true meaning of the season touch your heart.
For more information: http://www.eqcentre.co.za
|EQ Wellbeing Centre|
|4 Ashwold Road
|Telephone: 011 568 0329