ZThanksgiving has come and gone. Daylight savings is a, well, a dim memory. Winter Solstice is here, and the days will start getting longer. Yay!
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Shabe-Yalda, Festivus, Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day or simply “the season,” what we all have in common at this time of the year is joy, and also Stress with a capital S.
It’s no wonder! So much to do, so much to plan for with parties and activities, decorating, baking, finding childcare for the kids who are out of school again and you have to work. Or finding ways to keep them entertained while you’re busy.
Taking a trip? More stress. What to pack, airport rush and possible weather delays all leave us frazzled before we even arrive at our destination.
Hosting the family? Even more stress! The house has to be cleaned, those little repairs done that you’ve been putting off since spring.
We haven’t even gotten to the part about gift shopping, addressing and sending cards, putting up decorations, planning meals for all those extra people.
Credit cards are pushing their limits. Plus you’ve got more chores than you can shake a stick at, your “to do” list is longer than Santa’s beard, and you still have to give attention to your business.
Did you swear last December that it would all be different this year? Well, it can be different! Start now, today. By using your intention and some Tapping, you can make it different!
Here are 10 ways to lower the stress and make this holiday season fun!
1 – Put yourself first. Take care of yourself. This means eat regular, healthy meals. Get plenty of rest. healthfully, get plenty of rest. Schedule in a nap for yourself–even 10 minutes can help. Get some exercise, preferably away from the festivities. Go to a park and take a walk, take in some fresh air and clear your head. Drink plenty of water (schedule this in too). BREATHE. TAP!
2 – Make to-do lists. Prioritize. Entrepreneurs have great time management skills, and they will come in handy during this time when your already busy life becomes even more hectic. Remind yourself it doesn’t have to be perfect. Turn some chores over to the kids and make it part of holiday tradition. They will feel included and take some responsibility off of you. If you are the host, ask guests to bring something, make it a pot-luck. Surrender to the possibility that you can’t do everything, so let some things go. Tap on your need to be perfect!
3 – Make a budget and stick to it. I prefer to shop locally but online shopping is a gift to me. And shop thoughtfully. Unless you really know that person wants – and will use – that gift, don’t waste your money. It’s the thought, not the price. Use gift certificates, or Secret Santas. Or choose a charity or cause that everyone can support. How about The Gentle Barn.org? Or The Tapping Solution Foundation.org? Or your local animal rescue, Meals on Wheels, homeless organizations?
5 – Remember, adults aren’t the only ones who feel more stress during the holiday season. Children experience it, too. Keep communication lines open and spend quality time with your youngsters. This is a wonderful time to share your family’s holiday traditions or make some new ones through story-telling or special seasonal activities. iPads are convenient, but human interaction is the stuff that will be remembered.
6 – Getting the young ones outside the house for full-body exercise will help them and you to work off stress. Go out and play together. Anyone remember the fun of making snow angels? Or impromptu snowball fight? Of course, if you live in the southern hemisphere, you’re enjoying springtime activities. What are some of your favorite things?
7 – Houseguests can be fun but also add another layer of stress. Ask them for help with meal preparation (lay the table, peel potatoes, clear dishes, keep kids occupied, walk the dog). It’s fun to have family and friends in the house. We want to stay up late talking, playing games. We find ourselves eating more, drinking more, and getting less sleep. Indulge some, but maybe not every night. And drink more water, take your vitamins. Suggest you all take a nap one afternoon, or have quiet time.
8 – Holidays can have psychological impacts no matter how large the gathering is, if you’re spending it alone or celebrating with a huge extended group. There are blended families, diverse families with different traditions and religious observances, and multiple expectations. Some may experience a lot of sadness and grief at this time of year. Honor yourself and others whatever the feeling. Tap on the sadness or grief, and then be more present to enjoy the “present”.
9 – Conflicting expectations and demands can result in guilt and resentment. If family gatherings cause tension and anxiety, consider alternatives that can lessen the effects. Make plans well enough in advance so you can discuss them with others involved. Avoid as many last minute surprises or disappointments as you can.
10 – Honor each other’s space and experience in the moment. Maintain good communication, have compassion for one another’s feelings. Make the holiday more about Loving each other and less about buying or getting the next best thing.
Tap on the stress and feel calmer through it all. Have fun! And no matter how you celebrate, may your holiday, and the New Year, be filled with peace and joy and abundance for all.
Happy Holidays and a Very Happy New Year!