The holiday season is quickly approaching. Many of us start stressing this time of year. Could you use a few tips to help relieve holiday stress?
The busy holiday season is in full swing. Are visions of sugarplums replaced with thoughts like these?
- I am so stressed
- I have too much to do and no time
- I still need the perfect gift
- I have to make cookies
- I have to do Christmas cards
- And on and on…..
Well, take a deep breath and realize that you can change the stress of this holiday simply by the way you look at your list. Changing your thoughts and words can change your life.
Change Your Thoughts & Words
Quit telling yourself you are stressed and don’t have time. Because guess what? Your mind will make sure that becomes your reality. You have the same 24 hours each day, but how you use them is your choice. Is stressing over it helping you get things done? No, probably not!
Say NO – Not This Year
What you do with your time is your choice. If something is too much or you dread it, say NO! Decide what really needs to be done and let go of the nonessentials. Saying no is okay, especially if the demands of you are not bringing you or your family joy.
For example this year, I decided I am not going to send Christmas cards. It just felt like a task I did not want to take on and it took time away from the time I wanted to spend celebrating with my family. So instead, I have been writing emails, texts or calling dear friends instead of sending cards. I actually am getting more enjoyment reconnecting vs. sending a random card in the mail that I don’t have time to personalize. I figure between now and the first week of January I will connect with most if not my entire Christmas card list.
If cards are real important to you but you are running out of time, make them New Year cards instead of Christmas. Or you can be like one of my friends that simply waited and sent them all out in July as a Christmas in July celebration. That way she got to spend time reconnecting and enjoying the task of handwriting special notes. The point is to carry out old or start new traditions that bring you joy.
Ditch the “I have to”
Reframe your thoughts and words. Instead of saying, “I have to” change them to “I get to” or “I’m choosing to” because really you do not HAVE TO do anything. The things you do are a choice. When you reframe your thoughts you are stepping out of the repressed victim state and into a state of empowerment.
Enjoy the Season
Remember the reason for the season. For me, it is the birth of our Lord and Savior. For others it may be a reconnection to family, or simply a festive time of year. Whatever this season means to you take a few minutes each day to appreciate it. Take a moment to take it the sights, sounds and smells of this distinctive time of year. I love to have a quiet cup of coffee in the morning in front of our Christmas tree. It gives me time to savor the memories of the various ornaments on our tree and other times I simply sit in silence and enjoy the peace and beauty.
Smile and Let Your Light Shine Bright
Lastly, smile and let your light shine bright. A smile not only brightens your face and uplifts your mood; it does the same for others. Take a moment and see how it feels.
Take a deep breath with no emotion on your face. Now take a deep breath while smiling. Feel the difference? Smiles are also contagious. Take my challenge and smile at everyone you see until you find someone that doesn’t smile back. Chances are it will take you a bit. When you find that one person that doesn’t smile back, send up a prayer of peace for them and keep going. They probably needed a little extra boost anyway.
May your Christmas Season for 2018 be merry and bright for you and all your family!
From my heart to yours…Merry Christmas!