How to anticipate and relieve holiday stress

By anticipating stressful holiday events and the feelings they trigger, we can prepare ourselves for the physical and emotional stress of the holiday season, and find a way to enjoy the festivities with “hearts all a glowing.”

The Christmas holiday season seems to start earlier every year. Rather than post Thanksgiving , it now appears right after Halloween, if not Labor Day in early September. Once it ascends into high gear we may start wondering if it really is

“the most wonderful time of the year.” 

The extra work of shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping, planning, and entertaining can make it the least wonderful time.

We can welcome celebrating with family and friends, yet find those encounters create emotional tension and strain. When we feel  sad that loved ones can’t be with us, either through distance or death,  the season can become the worst of the year.

By anticipating stressful holiday events and the feelings they trigger, we can prepare ourselves for the physical and emotional stress of the holiday season, and find a way to enjoy the festivities with “hearts all a glowing.”

snowflakes making a Christmas tree

resources for confronting  and conquering holiday stress

Writer Bruce Y. Lee takes a lighthearted but serious look at the holiday season and suggests music may help us cope better in

 How To Reduce And Deal With Holiday Stress

Twelve Days of Christmas”: Keep perspective and if the Holidays are tough for you, remember that the Holiday season is temporary and will pass. Try not to take yourself and things too seriously. Just make sure you maintain healthy habits and avoid behaviors that will lead to health problems (such as gaining weight) beyond the holiday season.”

colorful wrapped packages

Consider this advice from WebMD before going 

Home for the Holidays 

“Don’t worry about how things should be. Most people have less than perfect holiday gatherings — they have family tension, melancholy, and dry turkey too. If you have negative feelings, don’t try to deny them. Remember that there’s nothing wrong or shameful or unusual about feeling down during the holidays.

a cute snowman

31 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas from Woman’s Day

#23 Know when to say no.

Can’t say no? Then keep your gatherings small and intimate. Get together with a few of your closest friends or relatives for the holidays. Choose to throw the big blowout parties at another time of the year, when you and your guests will have fewer commitments competing for your precious time.”

glowing cancles

 A Simple Christmas: A Faith-filled Guide to a Meaningful And Stress-free Christmas (Spirit of Simple Living) 
A Simple Christmas book cover

by Sharon Hanby-Robie

“The secret to a happy holiday is learning to collaborate and to create a plan that is uniquely yours with a goal to experience more serenity, more joy, and more opportunities to nurture the souls of those you love.

But, most important, it is to remember the greatest gift ever given, the gift of the Christ Child. Take time to simply sit and ponder this amazing miracle. “

(an affiliate link provided for your convenience and to help support this blog)

a nativity arrangement of the manger

And in this blog post, Joshua Becker reminds us to

Choose Holiday Traditions That Serve You

“Traditions should draw our attention to the underlying reason for the season.
Traditions should not detract from the season, they should elevate it.”

5 keys to manage holiday stress before it manages you 

  1. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.
  2. Anticipate stressful situations, places, and people.
  3. Plan and prepare carefully, but stay flexible for the unexpected.
  4. Keep your  health maintenance routine- healthy eating, exercise, adequate sleep.
  5. Remember what is most important about the season-family, friends, faith.

sharing the HEART of Christmas

Thanks to Pixabay for the Christmas photos used in this post.

I would love for you to share this  information  on your social media pages.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr Aletha

Mankind is a great family..proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas
Christmas graphic from the Lightstock.com collection (affiliate link)

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without food. Here are some tips to make it easier and healthier.

Practical steps to healthy holiday eating

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages; we even sing about them. But these can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

Keep reading

A country doctor’s thanksgiving

Read a country doctor’s thoughts about this traditional holiday in his adopted country. And enjoy my photographs from visits to other parts of rural America.

When I started blogging I looked at other medical blogs since I knew next to nothing about blogging. I was intrigued with a blog by a Swedish immigrant doctor who writes about his lengthy career practicing medicine in rural Maine. He calls it appropriately A Country Doctor Writes, because that’s what he is.

I guess I’m American enough, after spending ten more years here (Maine) than in Sweden, to start to get a little philosophical at Thanksgiving. I spent my first Thanksgiving in this country not far from where the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, as an exchange student with a Jewish family, three houses down from an African American family in an otherwise white Anglo Saxon distant suburb of Boston.

Dr. Hans Duvevelt

Continue at the link to read his thoughts about this traditional holiday in his adopted country. And enjoy my photographs from visits to other parts of rural America.

Another Thanksgiving Reflection

A Country Doctor Writes: CONDITIONS: Diseases and Other Life Circumstances

by Hans Duvevelt, MD

photos by Dr. Aletha

The above photos were shot at
  • upper left corner- near Canon City, Colorado
  • lower left corner-Chandler, Oklahoma
  • middle right-Madrid, New Mexico
  • all others -rural northeast Georgia

sharing the HEART of thankfulness

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr Aletha

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