The holidays are a wonderful time of year! Most of us look forward to family time, relaxing and enjoying the season. Unfortunately, the holidays may provide a few expectations, which can also be stressful.
If your stress level is on the rise, reconsider what inspires you about the season, and not what you expect from the season. Here are a few of my thoughts about dealing with the havoc of the holidays!
- Slow down: Take time to think about what you want from the holiday season. Why are the holidays important to you? Once you know what you like best about the holidays, allow more time for those activities. Slowing down may be difficult, but find a quiet place, breath deeply and visualize how you want to spend your holidays. Set your priorities and think about how you can best meet these objectives.
- Reconnecting with friends and family you haven’t seen for months or longer may ease guilt, but may cause pressure and stress. Many of us over commit our time and money. For many of us, it is impossible to visit with everyone that is important to us. Remember that a text, a call or even a card can help relatives and friends far away feel special. You don’t have to visit everyone to feel the closeness of connection!
- Spiritual traditions lead many of us to seek a deeper connection to our roots this time of year. We may want to ask ourselves if we have done any spiritual work lately? Have we gone to church? Have we helped those in need? Make reflection a part of your personal holiday tradition. Look for ways to nourish your soul and feel the peace of the season.
- Family traditions bond family together. What is your favorite holiday memory as a child? For most of us it wasn’t a present or a trip to the mall. It was time spent with someone that was special to us. Turn off the TV, put down the iPad, and mute the cell phone. Create a family activity. Cook a dinner together, family members picking their favorite dish. Take a walk to a special place the family may enjoy. Make a game of decorating the house or baking cookies. Be creative! If you can't think of an activity, another family member may have a suggestion. Cherish the memories you make this year. They will be yours for years to come.
Take out a piece of paper and write down what inspires you. Not expectations for the season, just some inspirations. I find this exercise helps put the season into perspective and reminds me of what is really important.
Commit to what makes you feel connected in your family. Create an atmosphere that helps everyone feel appreciated for their best gift, being who they are.
Have a great holiday! I wish you wellness.