Expert advice to conquer holiday stress

Magazine articles, television programs and music playlists tell us that this is

“the most wonderful time of the year.” 

That is until the extra work of shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping, planning and entertaining makes it the least wonderful time.

a gingerbread house

While most of us welcome the chance to celebrate with family and friends, sometimes 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 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 glowing.”

Here are links to  and brief quotes from some resources with sound advice for confronting  and conquering holiday challenges.

Plan. Make your list and check it twice. Being prepared for parties and presents and having help from family and friends can reduce last-minute stress.

red and gold Christmas tree bulbs

6 tips for staying happy and healthy  from Mayo Clinic

Over-the-top holiday excursions can be stressful, which is not how you should be spending this joyful season. Focus on your holiday traditions — don’t worry about the rest. Make time for friends, family and good cheer, and embrace relaxation when you can. Don’t neglect the value of sleep, either. Do all that you can to stick to a normal sleep schedule even around all the celebrations and traveling. Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol, daytime napping and large meals before bed. These factors can interfere with a good night’s rest.

a decorative snowman figure

The “No Bullish” Guide to Getting Through the Holidays from Freud and Fashion

Set boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.  If you’re a “Yes Man/Woman” (someone who always says “yes” and has a hard time saying “no”), then you not only have to deal with the stress of planning for the holiday, but also the overwhelming pressure to please everyone since you’re the reliable person whom everyone depends on (or the schmuck whom everyone takes advantage of), which leads to internal feelings of guilt, exhaustion, anger, and resentment if you can’t carry out all the duties expected of you, but then blame everyone else for not helping you (you probably also don’t feel comfortable asking for or accepting help, right?)

decorative wrapped packages

11 Holiday Shopping Tips  from Bank of America

Don’t shop ’til you drop
Sticking to your shopping list can help you avoid going off on a spree. It’s also smart to take a break between buys. Yale University researchers have found that making a purchase can trigger what they call the “shopping momentum effect”—a psychological impulse to buy subsequent items. To counteract the effect, just walk away from the store or computer screen for a few minutes. And no window-shopping on your way out.

Dealing With Grief  from AARP

Accept your feelings — whatever they might be. Everyone takes his or her own path in grief and mourning. Some may try to avoid sad feelings; others will be bathed in tears. Some feel bad that they aren’t up for enjoying a holiday; others feel guilt because they are feeling joy. However you feel, accept it. And accept the inevitable ups and downs: You may feel peaceful one moment and gut-wrenchingly sad the next. Try to stay in tune with your own highest truth and you will know how to get through the holiday without judging yourself or others.

Enjoy “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Eddie Pola and George Wyle.
Arranged by Hawley Ades
Cantare Children’s Choir: Catherine Glaser-Climie
Ron Bennie, Accompanist

Photos used in this post -compliments of the photographers at Pixabay 

Related post- tips for healthy holiday eating

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sharing the HEART of the holidays

How to avoid losing money to fraud

Fraud, cheating, stealing, tax evasion, scamming, hacking, counterfeiting, blackmail- people are endlessly creative when it comes to using money dishonestly. Even the Bible connects money with evil.

Listen or read the news for a short time and you will notice that money gets people into trouble; or rather people get into trouble because of money. People misuse money themselves, or trick or force someone else into making bad money decisions.

If a message like this one shows up on your phone, ignore it, report it, and DELETE it-don’t click on it. This is an actual message I received; I erased the link URL because I don’t want anyone who reads this post to try clicking on it just to see what happens. That’s what scammers want you to do.

And how do I know it’s fake? For one thing, Amazon doesn’t send messages like this, nor does any other legitimate business. Also, “recovery” is not a verb, and links don’t “bellow”; did they mean “below”?

If you ever question if a message or email is legit, call the business, or go to their validated website. Even them, don’t release your personal info until you are absolutely sure.

Fraud, cheating, stealing, scamming, hacking, counterfeiting, embezzlement, blackmail- people are endlessly creative when it comes to using and abusing money . Even the Bible connects money with evil.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. “

1 Timothy 6:6-10, NIV

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Advice from the Federal Trade Commission

spot a scam

  • Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
  • Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.
  •  Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.
  • Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.

avoid a scam

  • Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect.
  • Block unwanted calls and text messages. 
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately. 
  • Know how scammers tell you to pay. 
  • Stop and talk to someone you trust.  

exploring the HEART of financial health

Thanks for reading and sharing this post, information we all can use; it only takes a moment of carelessness to create hours of financial hardship. Sign up to follow this blog for more information and inspiration to live safely and healthily.

Godliness with contentment is gain 1 Timothy 6:6
photo by Dr. Aletha, graphic created with the YouVersion Bible app
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