Here are a few other tips for reducing stress:
- Be practical in the amount of people you buy for: While we may want to get gifts for all those in our lives, sometimes it isn't practical financially or time-wise. Set a limit on the amount of people you are buying for in your life. Your friends will probably more then understanding, or at least relieved it's one less gift they have to buy as well. If you've usually given a gift to someone, and have chosen not to this year, be assertive and tell them that upfront. If you're tight on money, let them know that, while you'd like to buy something for them, you just can't do it this year, but still want them to know that you appreciate your friendship.
- Be aware of what your unhealthy coping mechanisms are: Most of us have some unhealthy ways to cope with situations: food, alcohol, picking, etc... Plan in advance what you will do when you are tempted to use these unhealthy coping mechanisms. I find that it can be helpful to create a list in advance of healthy things you can do when you are in a place that you need to cope so it is ready at your fingertips when it is needed.
- Be careful to not have unrealistic expectations for family: Sometimes we expect that a family member's behavior will change simply because it's Christmas. Generally speaking, people are who they are no matter what time of the year it is, meaning that just because it's a big holiday doesn't mean the person's behavior will change.
- Practice deep breathing regularly: When we start getting stressed, it's easy for us to feel short of breath, our heart races, and our tension shoots up. Practicing deep breathing throughout the day will help keep your stress at bay, allowing you to function as best as possible. Click here to read about developing a deep breathing practice.
- Understand that you don't HAVE to get together with family: Sometimes we feel that the holidays obligate us to spend time with family. While it's nice if you can, you are in no way obligated to do this. Perhaps your family is toxic or too inappropriate/dysfunctional/unsafe to be around. You'll have a more enjoyable break if you spend it as an immediately family instead of throwing yourselves into a toxic family situation.
Well, you now have 15 tips to decrease your overall stress this holiday season. Choose a few to work on and make a priority throughout the next few weeks, and let me know how it goes.
Now it's your turn:
What sorts of stress have you experienced this Christmas season so far? What are 2 tips that you can commit to working on throughout the next few weeks?