It’s that time of year again. The holiday season. This time of year carries it’s own unique kind of beautiful chaos with it. The hustle and the bustle, the shine and sparkle of the twinkling lights on the evergreen trees. This time of year also inevitably brings along everyone’s favorite party guest–stress. All flavors of it, too. Stress in the form of finding that one “perfect” gift for someone, in the form of seeing family members you haven’t seen in a while, and even stress about getting that holiday meal “just right”. So as the holidays are hurtling towards us in the next few weeks, at what seems like high-speed, we all can use a few last minute stress busting tips!
Avoid Stressful Situations
One surefire way to reduce stress during the holidays is to try to avoid whatever it is that stresses you out, that pretty much goes without saying. But sometimes it isn’t always possible to avoid a specific stressor, so what do you do at this point? If it happens to be a certain person that is the source of your stress and it is impossible to avoid that person, try to make polite conversation, avoid hot topics (religion, politics, etc.), and ask them about the holidays. Try this: “Hey, what’s your favorite thing about this time of year? I just love….”. If they keep trying to change the subject to something you would rather not discuss, politely excuse yourself and move on to a happier task.
Breath (That beautiful pine-scented air!)
Breathing is one of those things that we do every single day. What we often don’t realize though is that breathing can be extremely helpful in a stressful or anxiety-ridden situations. If you happen to find yourself in position where you are feeling yourself becoming stressed, kindly excuse yourself from the situation, and take a moment for yourself. Find a quiet place to sit down (If that’s possible this time of year!), and take a couple of deep breaths. Now, think about this beautiful time of year. Ask yourself, what is your favorite thing about it? Is it the children’s huge smiles when they see Santa Claus, those colorful twinkling lights you see lit up on your way home, or is it that warm feeling you feel when everyone is gathered in the living room exchanging presents and drinking eggnog? Whatever it may be, close your eyes, grab ahold of that thought, visualize it and hold it there in your mind and focus on it while taking some deep breaths. When you feel that you are ready, return to what you were previously doing, but keep that thought of what means the most to you this season in the forefront of your mind, so the next time you’re feeling stressed, just think about that and smile.
That One Holiday Song
Music, in and of itself is therapeutic. So the other thing that also always comes this time of year? Holiday music of course! Do you have a favorite holiday song that you just love to listen to over and over? If so, if you find yourself stressing, try humming the tune of your favorite holiday song, or perhaps just singing the lyrics to it to yourself. If you’re not totally comfortable singing it with people around, just focus on the lyrics in your mind, go through the verses of the song in your mind. I bet you by the end of the song, you’ll feel a little better then you did before.
So this holiday season, let us all have a stress-less (I won’t say stress free!) holiday, and a Merry Everything and Happy Always to you and yours.