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Friday, December 5, 2014

3 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

3 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

For many, this time of year is anxiety producing and stressful. Right now you may think there is too much to do or worry that holiday shopping and decorating, cards, food prep, and house cleaning won’t be finished in time for the holidays.

Before you jump off an emotional cliff, ask yourself these questions; am I trying too hard to create a “perfect looking" holiday? Are the horrors of past holidays coming back to haunt me? Do I believe I have super powers, can run myself ragged, and will know when to stop before total exhaustion sets in?

Research suggests it’s never too late to change outmoded behaviors and attitudes. When you open your mind to a new way of being and pay attention to your true needs and wants, you will find greater satisfaction and joy this holiday season and all year long.  

1. Learn ways to moderate your emotions. Set the tone for your day in the morning. Wake up a few minutes early to allow for quiet time to practice Mindfulness Meditation. It is a powerful tool that helps you notice thoughts, observe your emotions, and increase self-knowledge. Keep it simple; breathe in and out for a few moments. A mind-body practice like meditation develops increased awareness of the present, and can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Meditation lowers heart rate and deep breathing has a calming effect for hours after you move into your day. Meditation helps you clear your mind and encourages rational thinking. Rational thinking enables you to plan ahead, and make effective decisions about daily activities. Studies show that daily mindfulness meditation done over a period of at least 8 weeks, makes a significant improvement in overall quality of life and health. 

2. Simplify your celebration by anchoring it to reality. Do you act out of a genuine love of a particular custom? Perhaps it's time to release traditions and preparations that don’t align with your time, budget, or spirit. Limit time spent with people, places, and things that drain your energy. Reserve time for those people and functions that matter to you.

3. Remember you have options. There are no holiday police, who dictate what is right for you. You may want to relax at home, have company, visit friends and family, or create a new tradition this year. Some folks shift gears by going to the movies, visiting a park, helping a shut-in neighbor, or do service at a soup kitchen. Perhaps this year you want to get away from it all on a vacation. You will fail, if you try to people-please everyone in your life. Aim to be loving and kind to yourself and others. Make the choice to do what works best for you!

For those times when you're traveling with kids, here’s help for you.

Please comment by sharing your tips for stress reduction. If you'd like to, mention what things you want to reduce, improve, or eliminate in the new year. Studies show when you use pen and paper and record your intention, it reinforces the idea in your mind and body.

For many more creative ideas about effective self-care practices and exercises that help you appreciate simple pleasures, pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. It’s a great gift for all the women you love. See more here.

The quotation for today is an original, "“Self-care is a privilege only you can grant yourself.” Nancy Andres

Before I go, I'd like to thank you for your support and encouragement during 2014. Wishing each and every one of you a very Happy, Healthy 2015. 
This blog post appears on the Special Holiday Edition of the Healthy, Happy, Green, and Natural Party Blog Hop 2014

This blog post appears on Tuesdays With a Twist#88 is Live!

Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan