De-stress for the Holidays!
What could possibly be stressful about the holidays, you ask?
Family gatherings can be festive and fun. But as soon as family comes together, there is more opportunity for conflict. Remember that stress is a reality for all families, but you can de-stress for the holidays with these helpful reminders:
* Go with the flow of the ups and downs *
Realize that, in some ways, a holiday is like any other day: not perfect. There are ups and downs on any day, and a holiday is not an exception. Don’t try so hard to make everything perfect. Sometimes the best memories are made from flops and mishaps.
* Relax your expectations *
Most people have high expectations for “happy” holidays. We wish for holidays to be all joy and happiness—no unkind words, no disappointed faces. We hope that every child’s eyes will sparkle in delight and every parent will smile with approval. It makes a nice Norman Rockwell painting, but the reality might be different.
Most of us need to watch out for expecting too much of ourselves…and of others during the holidays. Be aware of the expectations you are placing on yourself and others, and try to be realistic about them. If you cut some slack for yourself and others,you may enjoy the holidays a lot more!
* Follow ye good-ole advice *
During the holiday season remember to eat healthy, get rest, and exercise regularly. This good old advice is one of the best ways to buffer yourself against normal stress during the holidays.
* Gather up the goodness *
Try keeping a record of the things you are thankful for. At the end of each day, record 3 things that went well that day and write why you think they went well. For example, “Today we arrived on-time and in one piece at Grandma’s house… Why? because the kids had their bags packed early and the traffic wasn’t bad at all.” When you
get into the habit of gathering up the good from each day, two things happen: 1) you notice the good more easily, and 2) your mind and body become more relaxed.
Wishing you a more peaceful holiday season,
Dr. Jason Berman