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Tis The Season to Be Jolly, Not Jangled.

Published: December 8, 2016

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We all love the holiday season, yet it is one of the most stressful times of the year. Piling this year-end stress on top of an already stress filled lifestyle can be devastating to many people.

I propose you take steps to de-stress this holiday season. Don’t let your nerves get jangled by getting tangled up in too many obligatory events or overextending yourself with extravagant gift giving. Give yourself the gift of time to take a walk or a calming bath. And, remember to breathe. Consciously take a long, slow deep breath in through the nostrils and sigh out through the mouth.

As a gift to my readers this holiday season, I’m offering a list of ways to de-stress instead of giving in to distress. Even little actions can help to create moments of peacefulness when faced with overwhelming distractions. After the holidays you may want to give yourself the gift of permanent stress-free living by committing to a specific program like the one I offer. In the meantime, incorporate as many of the following actions into your holiday schedule.

Take Care of Your Body

Get some exercise and be aware of what you are eating. A daily walk, purely for the sake of walking and unwinding works wonders. If you made it through Thanksgiving without overdoing caffeine, sugar and alcohol, congratulate yourself. Take care of yourself the same way as you negotiate the endless holiday celebrations. Nurture yourself by drinking a glass of water between cocktails or each glass of wine. Have herbal tea instead of that third cup of coffee. Overindulgence is one way to stress the body. You can still have fun and join in the celebration, while tending to your wellbeing.

Keep Your Sense of Humor

Laughter is the best medicine. We’ve learned this from Norman Cousins who laughed his way from the brink of death to health as he related in “Anatomy of An Illness.” Cousins taught us that, “laughter is inner jogging.” So remember that the holidays are meant to be a jolly time. Don’t take them or yourself too seriously. Look for the ridiculous, ludicrous and paradoxical in daily life. Remember that a belly laugh completely changes the biochemistry of the body like nothing else!

Know Your Own Limits

Even though most of us know our limits, even those of us who don’t believe in limits, we always try to push ourselves a little further and a little harder. During the holiday season, I encourage you to take a step back and take into consideration the fact that you push yourself all year long. During the holiday season, schedule time to relax instead of time to do more. Prioritize the events you really want to attend and gracefully decline those you don’t. Schedule alone time and family time. Stick to your schedule. Just because everyone else is running around like crazy doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. On the other side of the holidays, you’ll be refreshed instead of feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck. You may even discover a new holiday tradition based on observing peaceful, quiet time.

After the New Year, if are ready to commit fully to tapping into the stress-free life waiting just beneath the surface of your chaotic life, contact my office. It’s a refreshing way to kick off the New Year.

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