Coping With Holiday Stress

Practical Suggestions for Preventing and Coping With Holiday Stress

Here are some thoughts about how to create a more meaningful Holiday Season for you and your family.

(The source of this is very old and the author unknown…..)

  1. Drop two family traditions this year that cause work or pressure.
  2. Plan a physical activity for the family (or at least for yourself) on whatever day is most stressful for you.
  3. Ask children “What are you giving?” or “What things are you making?” instead of ”What do you want?”
    1. Have a family discussion of expectations for the holidays. Have each person state what would make the holidays successful for them.
      1. Give services (time, work, etc.) rather than material gifts.
        1. Write greeting cards and letters during January.
          1. Keep the children’s consumption of refined sugar to a minimum to avoid creating a “sugar high.” Give other things in stockings besides candy.
            1. When serving alcoholic beverages, do not encourage (pressure) people to have “one more.”
              1. Offer alternatives to sugar and alcohol when you entertain: spiced tea, mulled cider, vegetable dips, fruit, nuts, etc.
                1. Start a new family tradition this year, something that no one has clone before.
                  1. Decorate less than usual.
                    1. Spend the holiday with someone you really care about, not only those you feel obligated to be with.
                      1. Take some time for yourself to be alone (even a few minutes) doing something that relaxes you (e.g., bubble baths nap, running, meditation).
                        1. Reverse roles that are traditional in your family at the holidays. Switch jobs that you always do, and experience something new. Accept the idea of letting go of control (i.e., so what if she buys a funny shaped tree, so what if he burns the potatoes).
                          1. Say “No” to at least one party.
                            1. When you entertain, if people offer to bring something, say “Yes.”
                              1. Deliver some of your presents after the holiday.
                                1. Do your wrapping as you buy, and not at the last minute.
                                  1. Be sure to get enough sleep.
                                    1. Do a sit-down meeting with family right after the holidays. While your memory is fresh, reflect on what aspects made it a good holiday and which you would like to repeat next year. State out loud what you do not wish to do next year. It’s helpful to write these things down and file away with your Christmas gear for next year.
                                      1. Deliberately work on keeping things simple.
                                        1. Agree with family to a maximum price on presents to keep the debt low. (No wonder January is such a bummer.)
                                          1. Do Yoga!!