The holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment but somehow you can end up frazzled. Here are a few simple and easy tips to keep you relaxed :
1. “Attitude of Gratitude”
Counting your blessings is one of the best antidotes to stress, whether holiday-induced or otherwise. You can get so caught up with the social and finncial pressures of the holiday season that you can forget how lucky you are to be celebrating or relaxing. Being grateful for what you have keeps stress levels low by inducing a feeling of calmness and satisfaction.
2. Retain some familiar routine
The holiday season pushes you out of your comfort zone. Both children and adults are faced with new environments and routines. You can either thrive on the change or it can really get to you.
A good idea is to take something familiar with you if you are travelling, this works especially well for kids. You could pack a favourite stufed animal or storybook for your child. For yourself, you could take along your favourite brand of tea or coffee. A book by a favourite author works too.
At home, you could do something the usual way too. Despite the circus of visiting , entertaining and excursions it is good to stick to one or two familiar rituals.
Prayer and meditation both let you tune out negative vibes and fill yourself with inner peace and serenity. A stress buster always, prayer is particularly helpful during holidays if like me you have a tendency to get frazzled easily.
4. Me Time
The holiday season is all about family and togetherness. You are thrown together with people for long periods and are doing things together.
Forgive me for sounding cynical, but all the togetherness can jarr on your nerves. Do schedule some “me time” . Believe me, you will be able to appreciate the extended family brunch better after half an hour of your favourite activity (blogging or reading maybe) on your own.
5. Realistic Expectations
A big source of holiday stress is perfectionism. You want your house to be perfect, the food has to be superb and everyone is supposed to have a great time. This puts a lot of pressure on you.
By the same corollary lowering your standards and keeping your expectations realistic can ease the tension. You need not cook the family dinner from scratch. Cheat a little with pre-cooked and pre-done, spend the time you save on relaxing and enjoying yourself.
This one applies mainly to people who try to do too many things themselves, so it is a bit like the one above. It is completely okay to let other people do some things for you even if they won’t be able to do as good a job as you. Let the kids lay the table; so what if the cutlery is not in the right place or the napkins aren’t folded neatly.
Accepting help is a good idea too. Let your guests help with clearing away and washing up if they volunteer too. This way you will be able to spend more time with them too.
7. Go with the flow
This is the best of all. That is why I have kept it at the end, like dessert. Whatever happens, stay calm and go with the flow. Take things as they come and you will never suffer tension or anxiety. Practise mindfulness : enjoy the moment for what it is, not what you had wanted it to be !
I love collecting little stress busters like these. What are your favourite tips to deal with holiday stress? Do let me know in the comments section below.
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