Know that it’s normal to have holiday stress. Everybody has them to some degree, so don’t beat yourself about it. But make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your holiday joy and fun for yourself and everyone you care about. Here are some simple tips.

Change Your Outlook
You always have the choice to perceive any situation or a person the way you want to. You always have this power. This is what matters the most. POWs have survived unimaginable atrocities by viewing things in a positive and hopeful way. So can you.

Don’t Have any Expectations
If you don’t have any expectations, especially unrealistic ones, you will not be disappointed or devastated. Some people and some things will never change. It is what it is. You being upset won’t change it, so go with the flow, and save yourself a lot of stress and heartache.

Don’t Let it Get to You
A relative was recently criticizing me and so I decided to just brush it off. I literally brush off my shoulder with my hand, a symbolic gesture that helps me deal with all things negative I have no control over.

Sing!
There’s a reason karaoke is so popular. Singing is fun, but it also helps reduce stress. So, sing in your car, shower, office, mountain top, etc. Christmas songs are everywhere.

Ask for Help
Don’t overdo and ask for help. Shorten your chores and give simple and easy gifts like gift cards, online shopping with wrapping and delivery included, and bulk shopping for everyone, etc.

Take a Break
My car is often a sanctuary during the holidays. I park it someplace far away from the stressors and escape, hide, meditate, listen to music, take a nap, and hear myself think. Go to your favorite spot and breath and you’ll come back a happier and nicer person.

Don’t Abandon Your Health
You can certainly indulge a bit, but don’t let the holidays be a free for all. You’ll have consequences and regrets. Exercise moderation. Eat a healthy meal or a snack before you go to a party and drink hot beverages like tea before consuming alcoholic beverages. Your hips will thank you.

Don’t Forget to Laugh
You need it more than ever. So find the humor in situations around you and watch or see things that make you laugh at least 5 minutes a day. Laugh the stress away!

Don’t Forget to Sleep Well
Skimping on sleep can have serious physical and emotional consequences and you need to be well rested year round, including the holidays. Also, try to catch short naps whenever you can.

Exercise
It’s one of the most powerful destressors around. Walk, run, dance, stretch, jump rope, hula hoop, etc. Whatever it is, make sure you move as much as possible to get your body circulating, calories burning, and your moods uplifting.

Seek Professional Help
If your anxiety, depression, sadness, insomnia, irritability is not going away after 2 weeks, seek professional help. Call your doctor and a mental health professional.

 

Happy Holidays Y’All!