It’s only the second week of December and already people are talking about how stressed they are!
Our reasons for stress are legitimate. There are get-togethers, cooking and baking, decorating, meal planning, parties, gifts to buy, financial strain, and more. The pace of life picks up this time of year.
Pause, and consider a few holiday stress busters to make this season the most wonderful time of the year!
1) Be realistic about what you can do.
Don’t run around like a chicken with your head cut off. Slow down, evaluate your time, and only take on what you can truly handle. Consider your situation. If you are financially strapped, cut back. If your health isn’t good, say NO to activities and get rest. If you recently divorced or lost a loved one, give yourself alone time to grieve. You don’t have to do it all or do everything you did in years past.
2) Try to maintain a routine.
If you exercise, keep going to the gym. Or take time to walk the dog every day. Eat at regular times and get enough rest. Your physical care will go a long way to combating stress.
3) When it comes to family, stay away from conflict.
The busyness of the season often leaves us more raw in our emotions and we are more susceptible to irritation and agitation. Thus, I recommend you practice a little peace on earth and table the family issues for another time. Address problems when they arise, but this is not the time of year to dig in to long standing issues. Most of us just don’t have the patience given the busyness of the season.
4) Slow down.
If you feel your heart racing and your mind in overdrive, take a break. Get a cup of hot tea and relax with a magazine or book, take a walk and clear your head, get a massage, sit in a hot tub and soak for 20 minutes. Just stop and regroup. Meditate on scriptures and take time to pray. Start and end your day with a devotional reading.
5) If there is too much to do, don’t do it.
Drop out of parties if there are too many. Don’t send Christmas cards this year if you can’t work it into your schedule. Buy your dessert instead of making it. Pick one or two things that could be dropped from the endless TO DO list. The world as you know it will not fall apart.
Now, take a deep breath. Relax. Enjoy your family and friends. Embrace the true meaning of Christmas which is the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!