Happy pippy skippy holidays! Every year we try to answer that same old question: how do we reduce stress during the holidays? With all that shopping and preparing and cooking, it's no wonder that a recent study showed that 62% of people are more stressed during the holiday season. Well, we are in the final stretch, but it's not too late to turn things around and make the holidays an enjoyable event for yourself.
Now you know what I always say...don't be afraid to ask for help. So...I asked stress management coach and trainer Debbie Waller what her holiday stress tips are and she gave some great things to think about:
“If you are catering for large numbers, delegate. Even if you prefer to cook yourself others can walk the dog, watch the kids, or organise drinks. And ask everyone to prepare and bring one item from the menu.”
“To slightly misquote Abraham Lincoln, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Accept this and aim to have something planned for each individual (or age group if you have a very social Christmas) over the holiday period, rather than expecting everyone to love all the same things.”
“Most of the pressure comes from within. Look for times when you are thinking words like 'must', 'have to' and 'should'. These are the times your stress is probably at its highest, but are they really that essential? If you can change your thinking to 'It would be nice if …' you remove a lot of pressure.”
Girl, you read my mind! Take time to breathe and think about what you want to get out of this happy time, don’t expect things to be perfect, don't be afraid to say no, and most importantly, be mindful. Make sure you are doing things because you want to and not because you feel like you have to. Focus on things that make you feel less stressed and more happy. When the stress hits, and it is going to hit, just take a step back, take 3 deep breaths, and in that moment, remind yourself what the holiday season truly means to you and how you can change your thoughts about what is going on to make it more joyful for you. The holiday season is what you make it, this year make it about being stress-free and relaxed. Why not you? Happy holidays my peeps, stay cheery.
Debbie Waller is a Stress Management Coach and Trainer based in Yorkshire, UK.