This time of year is supposed to be joyous…..just listen to a Christmas song! However, this time of the year, finds many of us feeling the complete opposite. And, sadly if you aren’t feeling “joyous” about the holidays, our society has lots of nicknames for you. Some of you may be asking yourself, can’t we just fast forward to January (or even better, springtime).
First of all, if you are one of those wishing the holidays were over, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! For many, the holidays are filled with stress, sorrow and grief. For some, the thought of spending time with family is dreadful. Yet, others wish for family to spend their time with. Not to mention, overspending, overeating, and lack of sleep!
When you mention all of the reasons, people dread the holidays, it makes one wonder who does enjoy the holidays?!?! One group of individuals come to mind…….children! Remember the excitement, you felt waking up Christmas morning and seeing the tree with presents underneath? Remember the awe you felt as you thought about Santa delivering all of the gifts throughout the world on Christmas Eve?
Unfortunately, those feelings seem to get lost as we reach adulthood. As I write this, I am watching college students grab a bite to eat as they scramble to complete their assignments and studying before the end of the semester. These college students are quickly learning the stress of life and attempting to manage all their commitments. And, me…..I have what feels like a never ending list of items that needs completed running through my head as I type this.
So, how do we “survive”? Amazingly, we do…..Every holiday season, we may think to ourselves, that we won’t but we most likely do. (We may be weary and blurry-eyed by the end of the month, but we survive.) My challenge to you is to not “survive, but thrive”…….
Unfortunately, stress is a part of life. So, how do we manage? Here is quick list of some tips to utilize during this busy holiday season (and any stressful time of your life):
Breathe slowly and deeply (take 5 deep breaths, blow some bubbles)
Engage in some physical activity
Get plenty of sleep
Avoid the use of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or drugs
Call a friend
List 3 positive things
Dance to your favorite song
Sing out loud
Take breaks throughout the day
Make a list
This holiday season, I challenge you to “thrive”. I challenge you to not overcommit yourself, not overspend and to recognize those pitfalls which lead to your feelings of stress. I challenge you to slow down and remember reasons to be joyous. Allow your “inner child” to come out!
Remember…..if you don’t take care of you, who will?
Until next time,