Holidays are often the most stressful time of the year. Here are some of my favorite tips to rein in the holiday stress machine.
Lower the bar on expectations--Our expectations have been unnaturally shaped by sites such as Pinterest and Facebook. Try lowering the bar this year on decorations and holiday preparations and regain your sense of control.
Embrace both gratitude and grief--We often forget that the holiday season is laden with emotions that can comprise grief and gratitude both for ourselves and our patients. Practice self-compassion by engaging in journaling, art, meditation or self-care activities.
Delegate or Delete--Look over your to-do list and choose one item that you can either delete or delegate to someone else.
Practice the fine art of saying “no” -- Demands for our time and energy can derail even the most effective strategy for stress reduction, holidays may exacerbate our feelings of obligation. Remember "No" can be a complete sentence.
Engage in mindfulness--Mindfulness simply means pausing in the present moment to actually notice thoughts, emotions and sensations. Try pausing amidst the busyness to notice the present, not the past or the future.