Amy Rees Anderson

Tips for Coping With Holiday Stress

Today I was feeling the stress of the holiday creep in and I decided that I needed an action list of things I could do to help take the stress off during this holiday season.  Here is the list of ideas I came  up with to help all of us cope with holiday stress:

  • Make a to do list of everything that still needs to get done before Christmas Day.  Include the shopping items you still need to buy, the gifts you need to deliver, and the food you need to prepare.  Put everything needing to get done on a single list.  Having it all down will take the burden of remembering everything off your plate and just knowing its written down will help you let go of a little bit of the stress.  Then as you complete each item mark it off your list and each item you mark off will help relieve your stress a little bit more.  One other tip on this – I like to take a photo of the list so I have a picture of it on my iphone as a backup copy in case I leave my list in a grocery cart or something like that – knowing you won’t lose it also helps take some stress off.
  • Write down a list of all your negative feelings you are carrying around right now and place it in a metal can and burn it.  Watch as it goes up in flames and as the paper burns to ashes allow all the negative feelings to float away with the smoke as it rises, letting go of the negative once and for all.
  • Schedule a pamper session for yourself.  Go get a mani or pedi or a massage or a facial.  Make this an “all about me” hour for you to relax, rejuvenate, and just enjoy a minute to yourself away from the craziness of the holiday.
  • Do something silly with a friend or with your kids.  You heard me…silly.  Make a snow angel, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go sledding, or anything fun you used to enjoy when you were a kid.  Laugh and play and put all your adult worries aside while you enjoy the joy of silly!  Heck go sky diving if it will help you 🙂 (note my skydiving avatar today…tee hee…)
  • Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.  Send an email, or a card, or a text to someone you have lost contact with and let them know you are thinking of them and wanted to wish them a happy holiday season.
  • Do an act of service for someone else.  Bake them a plate of goodies, or drop off a gift at their door, or offer to help shovel their snow or tend their child, or just sit and listen to them talk so they know that someone cares.  Big or small, it doesn’t matter.  Just do something.
  • Watch a Hallmark Christmas Movie.  Always works to get you in the right mood. You can’t watch too many of these in my opinion.  Love em!
  • Sit down with a cup of hot chocolate with loads of whipped cream in front of your Christmas tree with a snuggly blanket and read Dickens book “A Christmas Carol”. What a great way to relax and de-stress.
  • Stand under the mistletoe and wait for someone to KISS YOU!  Kissing is a fantastic stress reliever 😉

 

Hope that list helps everyone.  I have to say that just coming up with the list of ideas helped me to de-stress a little tonight.  I just needed to remind myself that this is a happy time of year and it doesn’t have to be stressful unless I allow it to get that way.  I have a choice.

Have a stress free day and SMILE cause smiling reduces stress as well 🙂 !

~Amy

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