What’s Stressing You This Holiday?

It’s very rare that someone tells me nothing stresses them during the holidays.  Family, money, time, food, and trying to get everything done tend to make us more stressed than usual.

Really, can anyone push your buttons like one of your family members?  There’s at least one in every family!  So, you can’t control how he/she acts but you can control how you respond.  Picture putting him through the wood chipper, smile, and move on.  Don’t engage, which I know is easier said then done.  But you are the only one who can break whatever pattern is going on.

Money is a tough one for a lot of us.  We want to do the best for those we love and get them the greatest gifts.  In this case, you can be creative and know that what’s ultimately valued is time spent with you.  That may sound hokey but in a year or two is that great gift still in use?  And think about the things you remember most about the holidays.  I bet it’s the people and activities, not the gifts.

Food is something I addressed in last week’s blog.  Do eat some of the foods you love, you’re going to be resentful otherwise.  Don’t keep that mental calorie list so that you’re sabotaging your own enjoyment.  Seriously – I know how miserable that one is.  So worried about what I could or couldn’t eat that I didn’t enjoy the day.

Food pushers, on the other hand, can be neutralized in a friendly way.  Flattery on the food and how full you are from enjoying yourself is a nice polite one.  A smile and a little zinger could help as well.  I was told by someone, who shall remain nameless, “you’re always eating that healthy stuff, it’s annoying.”   I tend to have karate mouth and popped out with, “I didn’t realize you were keeping such close track of my meals.” It worked and got a laugh.

As for time and trying to fit it all in: give yourself a break.  Say no when you can, take short cuts and ask for help.  It could very well be that the only one keeping track of what’s “perfect” is you.  Remember your reality is self-created, those you love do not necessarily share the same vision.

Have a fantastic holiday.

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Slowing Down in a Busy Season

Tis the season and I am sick.  I haven’t been sick like this in a while and it’s bugging the heck out of me.  I have things to do and places to be.  On the other hand, my body needs a rest pretty badly.  And, it’s going to get it, pushing myself is only going to make it worse.

It’s common sense but it’s not always easy to follow.  I have an exciting program that I’m working on and want to fine tune.  I have holiday prep to do, a tree to put up and decorate, some recipes to test, and a house that needs to be cleaned. It will get done but not as quickly as I would have wanted.

We all have a variation of this theme this time of year.  People want our attention, our attendance at gatherings, we want to prep for the holidays, get our shopping done, have the house cleaned, put decorations out, etc.  All of this on top of the things we normally get done.

So how do you stay sane?  Keep in mind you can only do so much.  The pressure you are putting on yourself can be eased by saying no to a few things.  Carve some time out for yourself so you can have a breather.  Having a calendar with your tasks can put things in a more manageable structure.  You can chunk some tasks together (like dusting as you decorate) or putting a meal in the slow cooker while you go do your shopping.

Figure out what you can let go of. Quite honestly, I clean like a maniac before I have company.  No one is really looking that closely to see how clean my house is.  This year I’ve decided as long as it’s neat and reasonably clean I’m good to go.  I put some gifts in bags because I don’t like wrapping presents.  I bake less but make the favorite cookies.  And some gatherings are going to take place without me.

What shortcuts can you take to make your life easier?  Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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