6 Ways To Overcome Holiday Stress

Friday, December 17, 2021

The Christmas holidays, for many most beautiful times marked by school holidays, a family warm kitchen, and the abundance of gifts waiting for us under the Christmas tree. They soon began to look less and less like idyllic scenes from our favorite Christmas movies, and peace, joy, and positivity slowly began to change stress, nervousness, and even depression. Sometimes we would rather cancel all the celebrations, just to avoid the dramas that are born from them, but instead, some tactics and techniques guide us through the holiday season with much less stress and much more magic. (Photo by Dilyara Garifullina on Unsplash)

1. Stop for a moment and breathe deeply

When you start to feel overwhelmed by worries and obligations, stop for a few minutes with what you were doing, sit or even lie down and breathe deeply, preferably from your stomach. Take five to ten deep and slow breaths - you will feel the effects of this short exercise right away. Blood pressure will drop, and oxygen levels in the body will increase, and you will instantly feel better. You will create your inner peace, resolve mind pressures, and lower stress hormone levels in your body, making you much more effective in what you do.

2. Stop giving orders

Instead of saying, "I have to do this," think, "I have a chance to do this." Changing perceptions will do wonders. As much as you may be annoyed by family gatherings around the Christmas table, try to look at it as if you have the privilege of being part of that community. By changing just one word, you will turn the minuses into pluses: instead of saying ‘I have to spend the holidays with the family, say ‘I have the opportunity to spend the holidays with the family. The moments you share with your loved ones are rare and precious, and togetherness is the point of the holiday season. Make it positive and joyful. Stop giving orders

3. Share family stress with someone close

Christmas Eve and Christmas lunch are the occasions we most often dread, because every family has at least one member who, with his words or actions, could completely throw us out of step. Avoid this by finding a ‘partner in crime’, a like-minded person who understands you, and a person who will help you change the subject at the table to avoid negativity and unwanted drama. You can also turn it into a fun game: anticipate with a person on your wavelength topics that your family could criticize, bet on them and then joke about the amount of your own ‘hits’ on the face of the meat. This will help you push the evening to the end without too much stress and nervousness.

Photo by Zoe on Unsplash

4. Lower your expectations

You spent a small fortune as a gift to a close person, and she spent only a few tens of kunas on you? Get over it and lower your expectations. Instead of what you could get, think about what you could give to your loved ones or people who are not as lucky as you during the holidays. Give a stranger a warm meal or just a big smile, make their lives easier at least for a moment, and without any expectations in return. Giving is a gift that you can give to yourself in this way.

5. Give up tasks you don’t want to do

The holidays bring with them all the obligations that we are convinced we have to fulfill, but the reality is that the world would not fail if we did not do the ambitious tasks we set ourselves. Plus, we’d have a lot more time for all those things we sincerely want to do. For example, if you spend time and your energy writing Christmas cards or making endless piles of cakes, you are more likely to feel exhausted at the end of the process than fulfilled and happy. Once you break with some of the traditions you’ve imposed on yourself, you’ll realize that no one will find themselves personally affected by it, and you’ll have time to do something you want.

6. Enjoy - right now

Remember all the previous holidays and get the best out of these memories that made you happy, laughed, and warmed your heart. Appreciate all those happy moments you experienced. Time passes quickly, so enjoy now and now, because some moments you can’t repeat to react differently and smarter. No matter how much stress the holidays bring, you can always find plenty of joy in them, you just have to change the perspective from which you look.

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