Holidays and Stress just seem to go together.
We’re suppose to be celebrating and having fun; yet we end up feeling stressed and anxious.
Why do we do we do this to ourselves year after year?
We start planning in October, if only in our minds, how we’ll celebrate the holidays. November 1st, we’re asking where are we celebrating Thanksgiving and that just seems to create the need to start planning December.
By the time December gets here, we’re dreaming of the lazy days of summer. We pack more in 4 weeks than we do in 6 months. After all, you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones. All of this, on top of your normal every day life. It can be overwhelming to say the least.
The holidays come at the same time each year and we shouldn’t be surprised by all of our busyness. Over the years I’ve learned how to have a “less stressful” holiday season. Let me share with you some of my personal favorite ways to navigate this busy, stressful time of year and how to make this season a lot more enjoyable, less stressful and a time you will remember with fond memories.
Here’s 3 of my secret weapons you can use this holiday season…
Be Present – Stay in the Moment
Being present can be difficult in our age of electronics. It’s almost a reflex to pick up our phones and scroll through Facebook or our email when we have a free moment – do you do the same?
One way I like to dodge this is to leave my electronics in another room. YIKES – I know, but it’ll be okay – I promise. Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones.
When I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained, what really helps ground me is focusing on my senses. What do I smell? What do I hear? What do I feel? Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present moment unlike anything else.
It’s a wonderful tool to use to dial in and be present – and is a great tool to use year-round, not just during the holidays!
Give up those expectations.
Now, this was probably my biggest challenge.
A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect. That’d be lovely, of course – but putting your entire extended family in one house is bound to have something go awry.
Therefore, dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something may spring up. There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when things don’t go exactly as planned – spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can. Tis the season!
Find time to move.
I know, you’re already moving – in fact you probably won’t get to sit down from December 1st through the 31st. But I’m talking about moving to relax you.
It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel. Even if it’s just a brisk walk after lunch or dinner – make it a habit to bundle up in your favorite scarf and winter coat to go for a walk alone to clear your mind, or with someone you enjoy being around. Be sure that you’re getting your time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air, while burning off some calories and keeping your heart rate up.
What are your favorite ways to get some movement in during the cold months? I’m not fond of the cold, if the day is nice and sunny, I’ll go for a leisurely walk; but if it is too cold outside, I make sure I get my movement indoors. The key step is to make sure you move.
These three secret weapons have served me well over the past few years and I encourage you to implement them in your life this year. Your health depends on you keeping your stress at a minimum.
Here’s a 4th Secret Weapon I use daily:
There are many essential oils that will help relieve stress, but my favorite is Ylang Ylang.
Diffuse a few drops in your diffuser to fill your room with a stress relieving aroma or mix a few drops in your favorite carrier oil and massage behind your ears and on the back of your neck. For quick relief, put a drop on a cotton ball and inhale.
Ylang Ylang for Stress Relief :
For anxiety, depression, hypertension, and stress, Ylang Ylang essential oil will bring calmness to your mind.
Place a drop on a cotton ball and inhale for a positive effect on your emotions.
Sense of Awareness
Add a few drops to your diffuser for a stress free atmosphere
1 ounce carrier oil
3 drops Ylang Ylang
Mix together to massage into your skin to create a sense of peace
Essential oils are a daily part of my life. I purchase my essential oils from Palmetto Grace Oils (I’m not an affiliate of Palmetto Grace Oils or Doterra).
Do you have some secret weapons that you use to overcome the holiday stress? Please share with our members group Healthy Living for Life, I’m always looking for more tips to make my life less stressful.