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3 Tips to Enjoy a Stressless Holiday Season

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By. A. Yanina Gomez, Ph.D.

As the excitement of the holiday season kicks in, high levels of stress follows right after. Whether it’s making sure you get the right gifts, RSVPing for all the holiday parties and gatherings or getting the decorations up, this time of the year can get the best of you!

Why do we get so stressed out during this season? Are we trying to impress others or prove ourselves?

If your stress level is rising up quickly as you begin to anticipate the holidays, you’re up for a bumpy ride. Maybe you’re starting to create never-ending shopping lists, adding parties to your schedule left and right or probably running around like a mad person making sure you get everything on the list [I know you’re checking it twice!]. You’re starting to feel so overloaded and stressed out that you’re likely missing the real meaning of the season.

The good news is that, it’s not too late to slow down! I’m not promising a non-stressful holiday season. Is that humanly possible? However, I would like to share with you 3 tips to embrace this holiday season is a healthier and meaningful way.

1. Stay in tune with your Self [Be intentional!].
As you keep running around and going from one event to another, keep your wellness in mind. Your body can go so far before it runs out of fuel. When you take care of yourself intentionally, you are optimizing your life and able to make a greater impact in the lives of others.

Many of us are so busy that we forget to nurture our minds and souls. A great way to nurture your mind and soul is to intentionally add joyful moments to your life, every day. Whether it’s taking the time to have a conversation with loved ones over dinner, listening to your favorite music group while enjoying a glass of wine or meditating before heading to bed, these joyful moments serve as a fuel to fill up the tank of your mind and soul.

When you feel real joy in your life, doesn’t your guard go down? Don’t you feel in a better mood?

A Word of Advice:
Whether you are a spontaneous person or a planner, make it a habit to introduce a joyful moment to your life every day, especially during the holiday season. These joyful moments will get you going during the busy and hectic days ahead.

2. NO need to overspend in gifts.
Create a budget and make sure you stay within your budget as you shop around. Overspending leads to financial burden, anxiety, guilt and stress. And, none of these are good for your health! At the end of the day, you’ll be the one paying the consequences like feeling guilty for overspending.

The bottom line is this: Think about the REAL reason why you are giving. Are you giving out of love or to impress others? If you’re giving out of love, any gift is meaningful. Actually, intangible gifts such as spending time with the person, lending a hand or an ear, kind words and sharing positive energy will make an impact in this person’s life. On the other hand, if you’re giving to impress, be careful.

A Word of Advice:
Resist the temptation to give to impress others. While you’re feeding up your ego momentarily, soon after you’ll feel the pressure, guilt and anxiety that comes when the credit card bills start popping in the mail.

3. NO need to attend every single party you’re invited.
I’ve heard so many times from friends and clients that they feel obligated to go to every single gathering they’re invited to even when they don’t want to attend. They get overwhelmed and stressed out because they overbook their schedules. Other times, they simply don’t want to hang out with “some” people more than necessary. Between work parties, family gathering, friends gatherings, professional gatherings, December becomes the “dragging” month. The truth is, you don’t have to go to a gathering unless you want to. Be selective. Attend those in which you feel comfortable and know you’re going to enjoy it. If you would rather stay home enjoying hot cocoa with loved ones, cuddling next to the fire place, stay home.

A Word of Advice:
It’s your choice, don’t let peer pressure dictated your holiday schedule. If attending these events rises up your stress level, politely decline the invitation. You don’t have to give an explanation unless you feel the need to do so.

Yes, you can experience a stressless holiday season. But, you have to be intentional and selective. Don’t let consumerism distract you from the real meaning of this season. Instead, embrace every second mindfully and resist the temptation to overspend and overbook your schedule so you can have time for what really matters to you the most.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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