The holidays are here, you’ve got company coming, a lot of gift wrapping to do, and festivity is in the air…but you are STRESSED! With so much work to do, people to accommodate, and worrying about Uncle Bob getting along with Cousin Debbie, there is no wonder why you are stressed out. Here are some tips you can do to ease the holiday anxiety, and even enjoy the holiday season!
1. Delegate Work. Instead of doing it all like, preparing the food, cleaning the house, picking people up from the airport; allow someone else to pitch in. This will ease up on your workload and the participants will feel good that they could lend a helping hand.
2. Keep Things in Perceptive and Lighten Up. It is okay to be you, and not Martha Stewart. The main objective of the holidays is to gather around family and enjoy the time together. If you are so worried about the size of the turkey, or the color of napkins, and having things perfect, you are missing the point. The best entertaining tip is to enjoy your company and make them feel welcomed. Everything else is secondary. No one will care if the mashed potatoes are a little lumpy. They will care how much you were looking forward to seeing them!
3. Short and Sweet. It is okay to put a time limit on your visit. If your husband can’t stand Uncle Richard, and you aren’t too crazy about him either, it is smart to give yourself a time frame, so only stay for 2 hours instead of 5 hours. You can say that you have another commitment and you are sorry to have to leave so early but the short time (in a difficult situation) is much sweeter when it isn’t dragged out.
4. Meditate. Do a quick meditation before you start your day to keep yourself grounded and centered. Close your eyes, relax, take 3 deep breathes, and focus on your breathing. Nothing more. This exercise will clear your anxieties. A clear mind releases stress and can get more accomplished.
5. Keep the End in Mind. If you have to rearrange your schedule, and it is a bit of an inconvenience, remember it is only temporary and look for something that you do enjoy about the change. It could be fun having a bunch of sleeping bags full of cute kids in the living room.
6. Keep Your Conversations Appropriate and Safe. I think all of us have experienced a negative remark about a relative, or a heated debate about a controversial topic. The secret to good conversation is to stay away from 3 topics: sex, religion, and politics, and to engage in talking about positive things. If the conversation is headed in an area of heated dispute, gently change the subject, bring up the weather, the movie you just saw, the book that is on the best seller list, etc. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
Believe in the magic of the holidays and remember their significance: to enjoy loved ones, to be grateful for all the wonderful blessings you have, and to celebrate Life!
Marla Sloane, Ph.D.
Marla Sloane, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved © 2005