Halloween has barely come and gone, if that long, before magazine articles, television programs , retail advertisements, and radio music tell us that this is
That is until the extra work of shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping, planning and entertaining makes it the least wonderful time.
While we welcome celebrating with family and friends, those encounters can 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 these events and feelings, 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.”
These resources offer sound advice for confronting and conquering holiday challenges.
Writer Bruce Y. Lee takes a lighthearted but serious look at the holiday season and suggests music may help us cope better in
“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.”
Consider this advice from WebMD before going
“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.
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.”
A Simple Christmas: A Faith-filled Guide to a Meaningful And Stress-free Christmas (Spirit of Simple Living)
“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. “
And in his blog post
Joshua Becker reminds us that
“Traditions should draw our attention to the underlying reason for the season.
Traditions should not detract from the season, they should elevate it.”
Here are the 5 key points I find in these references.
Which ones speak to you?
5 keys to manage holiday stress before it manages you
- Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.
- Anticipate stressful situations, places, and people.
- Plan and prepare carefully, but stay flexible for the unexpected.
- Keep your health maintenance routine- healthy eating, exercise, adequate sleep.
- Remember what is most important about the season-family, friends, faith.
Please let me know how your holiday season turns out this year.
Thanks to Pixabay for the Christmas photos used in this post.
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