Article submitted by Jerry Mabli, PhD
The holidays are stressful for most of us. Indeed they can be overwhelming for some people. We have gifts to buy, social obligations to meet, cards to send, cooking, cleaning, putting up the tree, etc. etc.—all in addition to our regular duties. But the holidays can be made more pleasant if you handle things right.
So to the extent you can, to maintain your emotional stability (and even physical health) TRY TO:
- Get enough sleep. Eight hours. Take a nap if you need it. You’ll be in a better mood, and be more alert and efficient.
- Stay in your regular routine as much as you can. Eat regularly even if it’s a small (healthy) snack. Avoid fast food. Carry fruit or veggies on your shopping trips.
- Delegate. The kids (and hubby) can help even if you may have to relax your high standards for e.g. gift wrapping, table setting, tree-trimming. You already have a “chores” list for each family member over age two, right?
- Plan your shopping and social activities efficiently. Combine and make fewer trips. Do less, better! Online shopping can avoid the stress of traffic and crowds as well as save time and effort.
- Get some exercise daily even if you can only do some jumping jacks in the living room at night.
- Include a few minutes of “Quiet Time” each day (Prayer and/or meditation). It will be well worth it in its benefits to you in terms of tranquility/equanimity/groundedness.
- Avoid or minimize contact with toxic people. (Yes that just might include your mother.) Focus on the people you like/love/care about most.
- Say “NO” to some of your less important social obligations. You might even choose to see the “other side” of the family right after Christmas or visit different relatives on alternate years.
- Be choosy about what and how much you eat at all those office parties. The good news is that most people do NOT gain the ten or twenty pounds they believe they put on during the holidays. They gain on the average (only) about six. The bad news is that over the course of the next year they only lose about five of it. Net gain = about a pound or two (PER YEAR, however).
- Prioritize your activities, and then eliminate some “traditional” activities that are too burdensome-less important. E.g. writing too many Christmas cards, putting up that second tree.
Calm down, slow down and make this year a truly
JOYOUS HOLIDAY SEASON