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Christmas Stress Relief

By Luci Fardo

The Christmas season is here. I love the Christmas season. This is a wonderful time of year filled with love, joy, laughter, fellowship, family, friends, tasty food, giving, winter activities, cozy evenings, and fond memories.

This can also be a time for anxiety, frustration, loneliness, disappointment, depression, overeating, and overspending.

A lot of folks find the time leading up to Christmas and New years to be stressful. There is shopping, cleaning, cooking, parties, and travel.

Advertisements don't help. They can cause a people to feel like whatever they do isn't enough. The expectations we set for ourselves is sometimes. Fear of not giving the children want they want. We worry about an unsuccessful party, disappointing food, and many other things.

There are things that you can do to combat the worry, stress, and doubt. Being proactive in your holiday planning can turn an otherwise stressful Christmas season into a more enjoyable one.

Start early and plan ahead. You can start your Christmas season preparations during ahead of time by planning family festivities, deciding what budget to spend and the gifts to spend it on. Plan the meals you want to make. Preparation is key. It is never to late to plan ahead. Make a game plan today!

Try managing your stress by the moment. Keeping an eye on your level of stress leading up to the Christmas season. Try to take steps before you are completely at your wits end.

Try being more deliberate about your holiday plans. This will make them less stressful. This will improve how you feel physically and emotionally during and after the holidays.

Be realistic! Life isn't perfect or fair. Don't set up impossible expectations. This only leads to disappointment and sadness later. There are going to be things that don't go exactly by plan. Somethings are better and some are worse. Try to just enjoy the people in your life during this time. Enjoy the experience.

Taking regular rest breaks is a great way to minimize stress. Resting and relaxing each day can keep your body and mind healthy. Take five minute breaks when you need to. Be kind to yourself.

Learn to say no. This is something that I struggle with too. Don't feel guilty for telling people no. Be respectful of others when they tell you no. This is a time of year to have your own boundaries and allow others theirs. Don't overextend yourself during the holidays. This takes away from the overall joy that comes from the season.

Take time for yourself. If you don't take out sometime for yourself it can lead to a lot more stress during the Christmas season. Even if it is a walk, bath, or lunch with friends. Take that time to relax and disconnect from Managing your stress well during the Christmas season, however, can make the difference between having fun and feeling good, and racing to get things done and feeling poorly both during and after the season is over. Everyone needs "alone time". This is a normal part of being human.

Remember that this holiday is for you too! People are so worrying about making everyone else happy that they don't take the time to realize it is for them also. During this holiday season be present in the moment. Let someone else take part of the pictures. Except help from others. Smile more! Happy Holidays everyone!


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