SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS!
Surviving the holidays! Holiday Stress! Family pressures! These cries are all so common around this time of year. You will see many articles and podcasts all along this theme…..the dreaded stressful holidays.
Well let’s stop right there! Break it down. The holidays are supposed to be a joyous occasion. A time for friends and family to gather, to give thanks, share gifts, gorge on delicious feasts and celebrate. But why do SO many of us feel stressed around the holidays? According to holiday stress statistics, up to 69% of people feel stressed by the feeling of having a ‘lack of time’, ‘lack of money’ and 51% are stressed out about the ‘pressure to give or get gifts’.
We all need to take a deep breath and reflect on how lucky we are to even be in a position to celebrate and experience the holiday season. There are so many people who would do anything to be out of the hospital or have even the opportunity to celebrate.
You’re not alone with the heightened emotions you feel during this time and you’re not alone to want to find ways to ‘get you through it all’! There are a number of coaching techniques you can try……I hope you find some relief with these this holiday season and are able to feel the joy.
Rest - Yes take some time to sit back and do nothing. It really doesn’t matter how long your rest period is, but carving out some time to just sit, or take a walk will slow your heart rate and calm your mind. Tip - every day, build in 30 min to rest, whatever that means to you. Think about what rejuvenates you.
Acknowledge your feelings - This is my #1. This strong self awareness will do wonders for your soul. It’s ok to take time to cry or express your feelings. It’s exhausting to have to force yourself to be happy. Tip - try journaling your feelings & emotions and take note of any triggers which you can try and avoid in the future.
Set aside differences - Try to accept family & friends as they are….the good and the bad. Not everyone in our lives will live up to our expectations and neither will they behave the way we would like them to. Be understanding of others….remember everyone is carrying some kind of stress or worry, may be you can be their happy break. Tip - Set aside your grievances, breathe and just smile. Know deeply, that you are not responsible for other peoples happiness.
Plan ahead - Getting your ‘to do’s’ down may really help. If its out of your head then it should alleviate some worry. Tip - use your notes app or reminders in your phone, put pen to paper and just jot down everything you need to accomplish with realistic timelines.
Say No - This is soemthing a lot of us are guilty of. Always wanting to please others. Well it is often more beneficial for everyone if you say no. Tip - Try it! What’s the worst that can happen?
Delegate - Did you even know this was an option? Ask for help! Sometimes the people around us just assume you’ve got it or even they’re too hesitant to help in fear that they’ll offend you. The chances are, that asking someone to help you out with something which actually make someones day……we all want to feel useful! Tip - it takes strength to ask for help. Again, just try it.
Breathe - Super simple but very important. When we are rushing around from A-Z our breathing becomes shallow. Shallow breathing can turn into panic attacks, fatigue and is a precursor for cardiovascular issues. An irregular breathing platform can lead to a lot of tension in the body. Tip - stop, listen to your breath. Sit and breath calm and slow, take a walk and star gaze, read a book.
Laugh - It’s no joke, laughter has many health benefits! From, reducing stress hormones in the body, boosting immunity and releasing endorphins (the body’s feel good chemicals). Tip - do something that makes you laugh….watch a comedy clip online, tell some jokes, or even force a laugh and feel the difference throughout your body.
Listen to music - Have you ever noticed how music can easily change your mood? Move your space from silence and turn up your favorite tunes Tips - put your favorite music on and even have a mini dance party!
Stick to a budget - The giving of gifts doesn’t need to have a hefty price tag….it really is the thought that counts. Tip - look for online sales, scroll through your neighborhood for sale boards (Craigslist or Next-door for example), visit your local thrift shop. Even consider making your own gifts…who doesn't like homemade baked goods and the opportunity to show off your creative skills with some art work.
Balance your healthy habits - Don’t let the holidays become a free for all….over indulging can lead to stress & guilt. Tip - Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, eat fresh fruit & veggies every day, exercise daily.