by Terri R. Marshall, CHSMS
The Holiday Season is meant to be a joyful time of year, but it can be extremely stressful for many people. You can potentially be a lot happier and enjoy a relaxing Holiday with some simple planning, lack of excess and the proper focus/perspective. Stress taxes your immune system and is detrimental to your health. For this reason, it is extremely important to adopt a more realistic and balanced approach to the Holidays.
Try these 10 easy tips:
1. Make a Holiday Budget
Decide on a budget for Holiday spending, write it down and stick to it! Excessive and impulse spending and the resulting influx of bills is one of the top Holiday stress producers. Pre-planning your Holiday budget can eliminate this added financial stress and is especially important this year with the current state of the economy.
2. Shop Early & Online
Shop early and online to avoid long lines and crowded mall parking lots. Online shopping allows you to shop at multiple stores without running all over town. Be sure to allow plenty of time for shipping and keep a written record of each purchase.
3. Wrap As You Go
Wrap gifts as you buy them instead of leaving all of the wrapping until the last minute. It’s a great idea to buy Holiday presents throughout the year when you see them, especially is they are on sale. Doing this will further alleviate the Holiday budget crunch. Stock up on more economical wrapping supplies by shopping at the after Holiday sales for next year.
4. Ship Early
Avoid long lines at the Post Office by stocking up on stamps and other shipping supplies before the Holiday rush and mailing packages as early as possible.
5. Be Realistic
Try to be realistic about your holiday commitment schedule, your holiday card list and your holiday budget. Think progress not perfection here. Learn to occasionally say no.
6. Think Positively
Remember the Reason for the Season and think about all of the good, positive things in your life at least once a day instead of focusing on the negatives. Gratitude is very powerful and uplifting.
7. Maintain A Sense of Humor
Although we love our families, too much togetherness and a multitude of varying needs can breed short tempers. Try to maintain a sense of humor and a positive attitude. If you need to, take a short “time-out” to center yourself and be at your best.
8. Take Time to Relax
Take a break by setting aside a little time for yourself over the holidays. A little solitude does wonders for stress. Read a good book, take a hot bath while listening to relaxing music, enjoy a crackling fire and some hot chocolate or meditate on the real meaning of the Holidays.
9. Let Nature Nurture
Remember that the best things in life are free. Enjoy life’s simple pleasures by getting out in nature and noticing all of the sights, sounds and scents of the Holiday Season is a great stress reliever. Be mindful and enjoy the present moment without regretting the past or worrying about the future.
Reconnect with loved ones over the Holidays. See family, call an old friend and send cards to loved ones across the miles. Sharing love is great therapy for everyone, especially those feeling lonely during the Holiday Season.
If you inevitably find yourself stressed after your best efforts, don’t panic! Try this easy “emergency” relaxation technique. Find your “Sea of Tranquility” acupressure point located in the center of your chest in the indentation about three finger widths down from your breastbone. Rest the tips of your fingers lightly on the point and very gently rub in a counter-clockwise circular motion.
As you rub, take a few slow, deep breaths (closing your eyes if possible) . . . in through your nose, out through your mouth. As you breathe in think “I am” and as you exhale think “calm”.
Be sure to breathe slowly so you don’t begin to hyperventilate. This is enough to trigger your body’s natural relaxation response as well as regulate your heart rate and calm your mind.
You’ll be feeling relaxed in no time!
About the Author:
Terri R. Marshall is a Relaxation Therapist, Certified Stress Management Specialist, Wellness Coach and owner of Tranquility Bay Relaxation Therapy and Wellness Coaching. She has offices in Annapolis and Millersville, Maryland and is also available for out-of-area telephone consultations. Her website is http://www.tranquilitybaywellness.com
Terri specializes in Relaxation Therapy for everyone and Wellness Coaching for Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Lyme Disease and Related Environmental Illnesses. Tranquility Bay gift certificates are available and make great gifts for family and friends.
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