If it seems like the months of October through December are just one gigantic holiday, you’re right. In the relentless world of retail, no sooner are the Halloween costumes whisked off the shelves then Thanksgiving decorations appear, Christmas lights start to twinkle, and holiday music fills the air. It can be hard to maintain your stress levels and sanity with holiday stimuli surround you 24/7, along with the stressful expectations they unconsciously generate. The good news: you can change this dynamic by taking time to think ahead and take control of your life – and your holidays. The following tips will help you beat holiday stress and find an easier way to navigate the coming year:
Think ahead and envision how you want your holiday experience to be:
Before the holiday rush begins, sit down and decide what you want from this year’s holiday season. It could be more time with friends, fun family outings, helping others in need or eating healthy… its your holiday time too and your choice to make it what you want. Once you have created your vision, write down your wishes for an ideal holiday experience and keep it with you as you make your plans and begin your holiday journey. Just thinking ahead and knowing what your vision is can help set you on the path to making choices for a less stressful holiday season.
Don’t feel obligated to say yes to every invitation or event:
Once you have a clear vision of your ideal holiday experience, begin to release yourself from the bondage of other people’s expectations– those nagging feelings that you “should” be doing certain things during the holidays to be considered a good person. If an activity or expense does not conform to your holiday vision, stop and think before you say yes. It is your choice to say yes or no. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence. Consider this an absolute necessity for protecting your health and sanity during the holidays (it works pretty well through the rest of the year, too. Read more regarding holiday stress from our page menu to the left.