As the holidays approach, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Joy? Sorrow? Food? Drink? I wonder what I’m getting for Christmas/Hanukah? So much happens at this time of year and it eventually leads to S-T-R-E-S-S. So why are we so stressed out? This is supposed to be the happiest time of year as we celebrate gift giving, the festival of lights and many other holiday traditions. However, many are still struggling with issues of unemployment, which greatly hamper these celebrations. Some of us are still dealing with the minor and silly inconveniences of clean up after Super Storm Sandy, compared to others who continue to hold on to courage, patience and faith after losing their homes or loved ones. Ok, so our stress is clear and real, but is it manageable? ALL STRESS IS MANAGEABLE!
Here are some quick thoughts on de-stressing over the next few weeks:
Family/Friends – My parents always said, “you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family”. Which means, we are not always going to get all our needs and wants met from blood relations (another blog for another time). There is always one relative that we can talk to and share our thoughts and we should take advantage of being able converse with someone. Life is too short for foolishness, so spend time with close family or friends you believe are like family. This is where we are in the best position to pick positive supportive people to share our lives.
Food – believe it or not, food has a special impact on us during the holidays. Now is the best time to practice some restraint on heavy and unhealthy foods (like fried foods, desserts, or heavy saucy foods). Too much weighty meals, meats and other dishes or alcohol can drain us from appreciating our holiday with family and friends. Have your favorite dessert (me I love holiday cookies), but don’t have three pieces of cake or ten cookies! Keeping your food in proper proportions will allow you to enjoy all that you wish to partake in during this holiday season, with little or no guilt.
Peace – take time to breathe and listen to your heart. Many of us do not practice being with our inner thoughts. As a result, our minds are racing from one place to the next and often our bodies are running along side to keep up. Give yourself some moments of peace each day to regroup. Escape to a quiet corner, the restroom, or outside in the beautiful fresh air for a short walk. Think of it as gratitude time with yourself.
At a time of the year filled with love and life as well as stress, think about the people you spend time with, the food you eat, and the peaceful moments you will experience over the next few weeks. If you keep things in perspective, you will have many things to be grateful for this season.
What are your thoughts?