Count yourself “in” with self care !
In thinking about the stress of the holidays and the many ways that we can address them so we do not get out of synch with ourselves and become worn out, “joyless” or depressed, I was reminded of an article that Peg Donahue and I wrote some years ago that contained practical solutions for managing the holiday crunch. The suggestions are as applicable today as they were when we wrote it so here it is again…
There are many stresses that at Holiday time each year predictably challenge us all. A common complaint that there is too much to do, not enough time, and a feeling of not having enjoyed what is meant to be a time of warmth, joy and togetherness.
One of the first steps to changing your experience is to realize that it is you who will have to take charge of creating something different. The truth is a very high percentage of our stress is self created. We may not realize the process we use to generate that stress, but it is nevertheless true. The proof is there—double blind studies and all!
So what are some solutions to being able to experience more joy, laughter and true presence during the holiday season?
1. Count yourself in’!
Often we say yes’ to things without first giving any thought to how it will really impact us, our time, energy, feelings or schedule. This is a breeding ground for resentment and that certainly is not going to help forge those warm fuzzy moments you are seeking! It also is a way to make certain that you stay exhausted and unable to truly be present and participate with an open heart.
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Make more of your holiday gatherings a joint effort. People are much more interested in sharing and spending time in the company of others who are relaxed and happyâ‚¬Â¦it is a small thing to contribute to the food and drink preparation compared to staging the whole event. Most people are happy to add to the mix. This provides an opportunity to share in the giving and the receiving.
3. Get a massage, pedicure, facial or other spa treatment.
On your way out pick up gift certificates as presents you shopped and relaxed at the same time! It is always important to build health enhancing activities/times into our days, but even more important during times of high activity, stress, dark and cold!
4. Invest in yourself: buy some relaxation tapes or CD’, aromatherapy product, a waterfall, a foot massager….buy double and give the gift of health and relaxation.
5. Challenge yourself to see how you can simplify your holiday activities‚ make it a game!
There may be many things that you do at holiday time that can be streamlined, eliminated, or modified if you are willing to take a look through new eyes. Some of the things we continue to do are done just because we did not stop to ask important questions regarding their value or worth.
6. Give gifts from your heart and out of love vs. obligation.
Everything you do contains some of your energy. When you give a gift to someone, truly give it out of love. Make or select something that you think would bring joy to the recipient. Hand made presents and delicious foods are often welcome. The more joy and energy you put into your gift, the more it will be felt by the person receiving it.
7. Begin new traditions.
If the holidays tend to get you down because of all the things you have to do, think about what you would really like to do and how you would really like to spend your time. If you would prefer to spend your time at home and not running around from relative to relative, perhaps invite your extended family and friends ahead of time.
As you become creative with your planning this truly can become a time when you create joy in balance.
Our recorded classic for stress management is Relaxation 101… http://bit.ly/RIR3bv…you can give yourself the gift of 21 minutes of peace, ease and relaxation and help keep your energy level and mood strong and happy so you can enjoy this season!
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