Tips to keep you out of trouble & jail during the Crazy Holiday Season
But Santa I can explain…..the twins spiking the Egg Nog had nothing to do with Aunt Mabel breaking into Sea World & trying to ‘free Willie’, or the fact that Grandma tried to ignite the Christmas turkey by using the blow torch as it ‘was taking too long’. I’m sure Santa has heard it all before and maybe you have a similar story, perhaps an Uncle Claude or a Grandpa. Either way there is a fine line between naughty and nice. It’s called “Mischievously Creative’, but not sure if anyone in the family agrees.
As wonderful as the holidays are for many – for some, holiday stress sometimes overshadows the good cheer of the season. While it is generally acknowledged that “the holidays” are stressful, most people seem to just accept that it will be stressful and continue their holiday tradition of being stressed out during the “silly season”.
As we become enveloped by “the holidays”, the demands for our time, energy, money, and other resources increase by leaps and bounds. Stress is the perception that the supply of time, energy, money, and other resources are insufficient to handle the demand for them. We are afraid we’ll run out of time. We don’t believe that we will be up to the challenge.
Like Santa’s Christmas Eve adventure, we might believe time will be suspended for us, so that we may accomplish everything on our “to do” list, and have positive energy left over to actually enjoy our families and friends. Well I don’t know about you folks but so much work and stress and then it’s over just like that! So this year before the holiday season really hits, decide if you want a little less stress this year, your blood pressure levels and heart will thank you.
This year truly can be different with a little self-assessment and a little planning. Do these things NOW:
1) Start out making your “Holidays list”. List everything that you usually do for the holidays. Don’t forget the time that you spend in calling relatives and friends to find out plans, cleaning, cooking, taking things down from the attic to decorate, entertaining, Christmas cards, etc. For some these ‘lists’ overshadow the joy of the season.
Stress Buster: How people deal with stress – and how they perceive stress – differs a lot. An important thing to ask yourself is, “Am I creating more stress than is reasonable for the situation?” Once you’ve taken an honest look at your relationship to stress, you can implement some of the following ideas to help decrease your stress levels:
On the ‘to do’ list number the list in order of importance.
Examine the items on your list and ask yourself, “Are all of these truly necessary? What’s the worst thing that will happen if I don’t complete the list?”
Ask for help. If you are the kind of person who tries to do it all – now is the time to challenge this behavior.
2) Look at your monthly budget, and make sure that you have all end of year extra expenses covered.
Stress Buster: Figure out how much money you can afford to spend for the Holidays – Total. Be thinking about how you want to use your financial resources for the Holidays. For example, how much can you afford to spend on gifts, entertaining, travel, etc.
3.) As wonderful as bringing families together over the holidays can be, for many it requires navigating through the murky waters of “drama,” politics and expectations. You might be concerned about shaky family relationships going “south” at the Christmas dinner table.
Stress Buster: As much as we might like to at times, we cannot control the behavior of others. If you tend to excessively worry about how people will “be” with each other, challenge yourself to stop taking on other people’s “stuff.” If there is an issue between two adults, let them work it out. It’s not your issue. If you are going home to visit family and are concerned about others behavior towards you – set healthy boundaries for yourself and erect your own protective emotional shield.
Remove yourself from uncomfortable situations. Take a walk – or if it’s really bad, simply leave. Take care of what you need.
Some important questions to ask yourself as you prepare for the ‘silly’ season are:
1. What do I really want for the holidays? So often you spend all your time trying to figure out what everyone else wants for the holidays and factor yourself out of the equation.
2. Go Deep. Get past your holiday to-do lists. What do you want for your heart, soul and spirit?
3. What is really important to you? What does Christmas mean to you? Why are you celebrating?
Use these tips to help you reduce your stress during this holiday. If you have expectations for a stressful holiday, attempt to challenge those and forge a new and positive experience this season. What do you do to handle the ‘holidays’, would love to hear from you. Leave your comment below.