Holiday Stress Relief: 3 Jolly Tips!

Published Date: December 1st, 2006
Category: Holiday Fun

By: James Malone

Sleigh bells ring and are you listening? If you are, you might also hear the sound of grinding teeth and breaking glass! Although the holidays can be a time of great happiness for many, it can provoke unpleasant emotional responses in others. Holiday stress relief involves active measures you can take in order to keep an even keel during this time of year.

Watch Your Expectations. A central tenet of stress management is that it is not events or problems that cause stress, rather it is our response to these stimuli. We know this is true since two people can find themselves in identical situations and yet have radically different responses. A potential problem with the holidays is that it can seem like you or the people around you “must” or “should” be deliriously happy or else something is wrong. Better to take the accepting attitude of “it is what it is,” which takes the pressure off somewhat and makes it more likely you will enjoy yourself. You cannot browbeat your self or others into having a good time.

Remember the Original Meaning of the Holidays. In the Judeo-Christian traditions, the holidays (holy + days) were set aside as a time to give thanks and appreciation. In modern culture with our over-emphasis on being competitive and materialistic, the holidays can turn into another opportunity to make negative comparisons. So what if the next door neighbor can afford more stuff than you? Focus on what you have, not what is lacking and you will feel infinitely richer. Anyway, what kind of monetary value can be placed on love, friendship or the health of yourself and your loved ones?

Take Active Physical Health Measures. A lot of the holiday blues, at least here in North America, can be attributed to the time of year itself. We get fewer hours of sunlight and when the weather turns cold and wet many of us become less willing to venture outside. Most heating systems tend to dry out the air and us as well. Also, consumption of refined sugars (candy, baked goods, alcohol) usually increases because of all the holiday parties. Combine less sunlight and fresh air with mild dehydration and a load of empty calories, and you have the recipe for a serious case of the holiday blahs. Consider getting full spectrum light bulbs for your home and workplace. Bundle up and get outdoors-during the daylight hours if possible. And remember you lose a lot of moisture through respiration in the winter, keep drinking your water. It can be helpful too to keep a bottle or glass of water on hand at holiday parties and intersperse a few swigs with the various goodies.

About the AuthorJames Malone is a Certified Hypnotist from Point Pleasant, NJ and he truly believes that friends don’t let friends eat fruitcake during the holidays-or any other time of year for that matter. To learn more about stress reduction please visit the New Jersey Hypnotist Web Site,/a>

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