Parents: How to De-stress This Holiday Season

The Holidays are Coming – Are You Ready? Part I: How to De-Stress This Holiday Season

Get everything ready for Thanksgiving. Check. Get all of my ads out and shopping list ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Check. Oh no! I forgot about Aunt Carol!

Sound familiar? The holiday season is upon us.  Time for merriment, good cheer, Salvation Army bell ringers, eggnog, yule logs, and stress.

Have you thought of what you need to do to get through it?  No, I’m not talking about aforementioned holiday gift lists. I am talking about you. Have you thought about what you need so that you don’t go crazy at some point before the New Year?

If you’re like most people, probably not. But like that old saying, “Healer, heal thyself,” if you don’t take care of yourself this holiday season: 1) no one else will, and 2) you’ll likely get sick. It’s hard to take care of everyone and everything else when you feel 6 feet under with the flu.

What to do? Don’t stress. ADAPT.

A – Acknowledge that things are going to be a bit crazier than usual this time of year. It’s okay. This too shall pass.

D – Don’t sweat the small stuff. Holidays are not about perfection. It really doesn’t matter if one of Rudolf’s ears is on crooked in your daughter’s holiday pageant costume. Focus on getting it done and getting through to the New Year.

A – Accept that things are going to happen that waylay your best laid plans and intentions. You’ll likely find yourself relying quite a bit on Plan B or C or D this holiday season. That’s okay. (See D above.)

P – Pretend you have it all together. As my colleague likes to say, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” And there’s something behind that. If you pretend that you have it all together, you likely will. It’s kind of like how smiling can make you happier.

T – Troubleshoot. Because things aren’t going to go as planned (see Accept), make sure that you have a Plan B or C or D to fall back on. That way you can gracefully slide into Plan B and Pretend that’s the way you intended for things to work anyway.

Need more help, check out these helpful websites:

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/tis-the-season-to-de-stress

http://www.womenswellnessandfitness.com/10-effective-ways-to-de-stress-during-the-holidays/

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-11-22/health/mc-destress-holidays-20101122_1_holiday-season-holiday-cards-holiday-activities

Stayed tuned for our next topic: The holidays are coming. Are you ready? Part II: How to Stay Healthy during the Holiday Season.

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