• Second Opinion Magazine

Holiday Stress and You: Simple Ways to Avoid Stress

by Joe Raab

When I was a child, I looked forward to the holiday season with such glee. I would dream of snow days, presents, and being with family. Fast forward a couple of decades and I pretty much have the opposite…dreading the snow and any commute; trying to figure out what presents to give everyone; and stressing out about hosting friends and families. For some reason, as we grow older we have a tendency to forget about the things that use to make us happy and “grow up” into completely different people. So, how do we eliminate the stress of the holiday season and start enjoying the yuletide like we once did? Two things to help: analyze where the stress is coming from and figure out ways to handle the triggers.

There are three major contributors: money, other people, and our bodies. Money can be a big stress throughout the entire year, but especially during the holidays. Presents for others, parties, party outfits — they all can cause the funds to dwindle. Other people also cause us stress. Families, children, significant others, the store clerk who hates the world — people influence us every day and cause stress. Note: avoid Black Friday — major stressor for both the money and the people. Also, getting up that early or not even sleeping at all can definitely cause havoc in our bodies. Also, do we really need to just throw out all the rules when it comes to holiday eating? Do you really need another candy cane?

Stress is everywhere. So, how do we avoid it? Follow the tips below:

? Be positive. Okay, you spilled your coffee down the front of you, your alarm didn’t go off, and it’s snowing. Sounds like a bad day. Now change your attitude and be positive. Be thankful you were able to get a warm cup of coffee. Be happy that you woke up. And enjoy the snow.  Everything has a positive side. Look for it!

? Recognize choice. Along with being positive comes the power of choice. Everything that happens to you, you have a choice on how to handle and re-act to it. Did someone cut you off while driving? Choose to be upset or choose to be happy they did not hit you and hope they get to their destination safely. Choice really is one of the greatest gifts we have.

? Delegate. Overwhelmed by all of the presents you have to buy? Too many parties? Too much too cook? Delegate. Look at your tasks and see what you can have others do. Kids love to help. Asking a child for help makes them feel wanted and loved. Ask a close friend if they will help you with everything you have to do. You’ll get stuff done and catch up with each other. Two birds, one stone.

? Communicate. Is something wrong? If you don’t say anything, how will it get fixed? Also, the holidays are a great time to catch up with people who you might have been too busy to see or talk to throughout the rest of the year. Communicate and show people you are thinking about them. Send them a letter. Give them a quick phone call. Get out there and relate. Also, remember to be thankful.

? Budget. Money will most likely always be a concern. However, with a plan, you can alleviate some stress. Do you really need a different outfit for every party? Do you really need the amount of food you have in your cart? Really start to ask questions about your purchases and gifts and stick to a plan.

? Be reasonable. With others. With yourself. If something is really stressing you out, ask if this will affect you in 5 years. If not, drop it and move on. And remember, other people have a lot of stuff going on in their lives as well. And it really is not always about you.

? Relax. Take a breather. Five minutes of relaxation can really make a world of a difference.

Stress is an option, but it isn’t the only option. Choose happiness, peace, and love. Choose a wonderful and memorable holiday season.

Joe Raab is a success driver. He works full-time in corporate IT, teaches college communication courses, and is a life coach. To find out more about Joe; please visit turn-the-knob.com.

#holiday #stress

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