Getting Through the Holiday Season

That’s quite an idea, isn’t it? “Getting through the holiday season…” Aren’t the holidays supposed to be full of excitement and joy? Why is it that some of the most stress in life can bubble up during this season?

So, let’s talk about some of the things that are common stressors and then what to do about them:

Family Get-togethers: It is true that families come in all different shapes and sizes. Sometimes they can be large and loud, sometimes small and subdued. Sometimes families get together in one large gathering, sometimes it’s a week or two of family at a time.Whatever your situation, it is often true that family gatherings are awesome while being somewhat overwhelming. And what can you do about it? Rest. Plan with whoever you need to plan with (maybe your spouse, your kids, parents, etc.) to gather together and then take some rest. Remember that rest looks different for each person. Some need to curl up in a blanket and sleep, some need to go to a sports bar for a football game. Whatever is life-giving for you, make a recovery plan. It might even be wise to plan to carve out time in the middle of a long visit. Sometimes just taking an hour or two to go sit at Starbucks alone is helpful in maintaining a joyful and celebratory posture during gatherings. Family is worth it, but don’t forget, you are too. Gift Giving: So often, we feel pressure to get everyone that perfect gift. We end up spending way more than we have to impress or because we feel obligated or maybe we really want to give a nice gift. There is a pressure to to think up, plan for, buy or create these elaborate gifts, especially in our social media consumed world. It’s easy to play the comparison game. How can you say no or not quite to this pressure? Start Early: By starting early, you can do a few things. First of all, you will have time to create a budget and then stick with it. It’s a lot easier to spend $50 a month for a few months than to drop a significant wad on December 23. Second, when you start early, you can get crafty. You have the time to put thought and effort into a homemade gift (if you’re into that!). Another idea with beginning earlier in the year with the gifting process is that Holiday Treats: These are stressful because… well they’re so good and we eat a lot and gain weight or suppress our immune systems or both. But what are we supposed to do?! Set Doable Limits: It’s rarely helpful to totally rule out things that you love. So, if you’re a person that looks forward to that perfect Christmas cookie all year long, don’t tell yourself you can’t have any this year. Simply set a reasonable limit that will allow you to partake of this tasty treat without eating the entire tray. Once you’ve eating you two cookies, go ahead and stick with the meat and cheese.

Enjoy the holiday season! We are for you in your pursuit of health, so take care of yourself!

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