From Holiday Distressed to Holiday De-Stressed

It’s beginning to look a lot like… well there’s still a lot of autumn foliage and recent bouts of rain here in Atlanta, Georgia. But the holidays are upon us! Not quite twelve days to Christmas yet, but the countdown is on.

I’m not a Scrooge, but I’m also not super into the holidays. Since the birth of my daughter four years ago, I try a little harder to deck the halls with some type of adornment for her. She’s obsessed with the idea of leaving a plate of cookies out for Santa to eat this year. She asks every night if he’s coming tonight, so guess I better find a time to make Santa some cookies!

The truth is, the holidays stress me out big time. I’m a little tight with my wallet, and this is the time of year where it seems to get thinner and thinner while Santa gets fatter and fatter. Also, traffic increases to a sheer jam status. Lines grow indefinitely. Retail shopping is at an all time mayhem. There are family gatherings, where you see your family, well, maybe one hour too many. There’s just so much to do and see and buy, and oh so little time.

To help with this #struggleisreal holiday hoopla, I’ve come up with some ideas to take you from a distressed to a de-stressed holiday season, so you can truly feel that it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Can we get a silent night? Or at least morning up in here?

PrintMy first tip is about remembering to BREATHE. Yes, the in-through-your-nose, out-through-your-mouth concept. Oh, now we remember how good that feels.

When you feel the stress and anxiety rising into your chest or the tears welling in your eyes, remember to breathe. There are several awesome breathing techniques that you can experiment with.

The one I practice with my daughter is blow it out. When you feel angry, instead of screaming or yelling or punching someone, just blow out the anger. Take a time out and breathe.

Other great techniques are imagining a calming or favorite color that you breathe in and out until you feel a bit more at ease, or doing a quick meditation on an app or website like calm or headspace.

Making a list, checking it (off) twice!

I love making lists. In fact you could even say I have #listlust. There’s something about organizing your thoughts in a list that you can easily check off and prioritize that just help alleviate anxiety.

There are tons of apps and digital tools for efficient list making, such as todoist and wunderlist, but I still love good old ink and paper.

I make lists for what I need to do in my personal life, in my career life, what gifts I need purchase, what I need to buy at the grocery store, and everything in between.

Joy to the world, really.

Finally, I recommend changing your perspective about what the holiday season really means. It’s a great time to #giveservelove and have gratitude.

There are tons of places that help share the spirit, such as donating your money or time to berich. Or your blood or platelets to redcross.

In fact, last year I gave my bestie a chicken from heifer!

Or just pay it forward at the local coffee shop. Smile at someone you pass in the hallway. Or tell someone you care about them.

Hopefully, as you tinsel up for a holly, jolly season, you’ll remember these tips to help keep it real, and stress-free! Please share your own holiday de-stressing tips! #holidayevolution