Friday, December 19, 2008

8 Tips to Reduce your Holiday Stress

It's HO HO HO for the Holidays

Its that time of year again - For some of you it is exciting.

It's sleeping in all day with work load behind you. It's family, friends and food: maple glazed turkey, sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top, buttermilk mashed potatoes with cider gravy, cranberry grape compote, deep dish apple pie, and pumpkin cake with brown butter icing.

Its picture perfect. It's a Hallmark moment. It's a Maxwell House (coffee) commercial. It's happily ever after for the holidays.

For the rest of you it's non-stop stress. It's having to work extra hard to pay off that credit card debt. Its dysfunctional family matters and no one to date.

The only perfect family that you experience is on television while you eat: microwaveable TV turkey dinner, mashed potatoes out of a box mixed with water, canned cranberry sauce, and dethawed once frozen apple pie. It's not a Hallmark card. Nor is it happily ever after during the holidays.

These tips can help you to reduce stress and make the holidays more pleasurable.

1. SIMPLIFY. Doing less over the holidays may help you to enjoy the season more and that is really the best stress reliever of all.

2. Ask a friend or family member to help.

3. If you have family difficulties, try to plan some time with friends.

4. Don't be a perfectionist about the holidays. Prioritize the events that matter the most to you and your family. Understand that you can't do everything, so choose the things that you can accomplish and enjoy.

5. For gift shopping, remember that it's the thought that counts. Don't spend more than you can afford. Whomever you are gift giving won't love you more just because you give them a more lavish gift.

6. Always have a plan B. Remember that family time can be both wonderful and anxiety-provoking. Sometimes, expectations for family reunions are too high. This results in resentments and disappointment. Try to be realistic. Don't expect that
someone is going to change and be the person you want them to. They are who they are.

7. Take some time for what the holidays mean to you.

8. Reflect on what you want your future to look like.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season and send you love and support wherever you you go or whatever situation you are in.