Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Tips for Keeping Calm During the Holidays

I grew up in a home with five other siblings. My father made a meager salary and my mother took in ironing and working mom's kids to make extra cash. When it came to the Christmas season, we never expected much—besides we knew that Christmas wasn't about getting, it was about giving and being with family.

Growing into adulthood, we maintained a healthy attitude about Christmas and even birthday's. We've never bought gifts for each other. When our mom was alive and before Alzheimer's disease took her mind, we concentrated on pooling funds and getting her a gift. One year we replaced the worn-out lounger chair she enjoyed sitting in as she held her grandkids and watched them play.

My family has grown. Most of us are now enjoying grandchildren of our own. Without the pressure of gift-buying—What does she need? What if he doesn't like it? I don't like the crowds. My budget is a bit tight—we still get together whenever possible and Christmas time is the best.

Even without the pressure of buying gifts, there still may be stress around the holidays. Here are some ways you may cope and find some joy in the season.
  1. Pamper Yourself. Take time for yourself. Have a cup of hot tea and read that article you set aside. Schedule a massage or enjoy a soaking bubble bath. 
  2. Don't be Afraid to Say, "No." Make sure you're not over-extending yourself by trying to make all those parties or hosting another open house. This is not a time to have guilt override the joy of the season.
  3. Move it to Remove it. There's nothing like exercise to remove stress and leave you feeling refreshed. Endorphins are the best medicine to change your attitude to positive. Bundle up and take a brisk walk in the crisp fall air.
  4. Get Your Words Out. Call a friend and have coffee. Nothing works better than getting together with someone who cares about you. We are naturally social beings.
  5. Plan ahead. Get out your calendar and make sure you know what's ahead. Sit down with your spouse and coordinate schedules.
If holidays instill fear and depression in you, maybe it's time to take inventory. Check your diet and other issues in your life that might be contributing to the feelings. For an overview of essential parts to being healthy, check out The Four Roots of Optimum Wellness.

What do you do to ensure you enjoy the holidays?

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