Proven Steps to a Merry and Stress-Free Holiday Season
Posted on November 30, 2011 by Aya Eneli, One of Thousands of Christian Coaches on Noomii.
There are steps you can take to lower your stress this holiday season.
The Holiday Season was officially kicked off on Thanksgiving Day, but rather than being a time of love, peace and joy, an estimated 80% of Americans report high levels of stress during this season. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to lower an even eliminate the holiday stress. You can choose to have a merry season just by utilizing the following tips.
Determine Your Goals for the Season: What do you want from this Holiday Season? Are you aiming to be the Hostess with Mostest? Do you want to wow everyone with the most amazing gifts? Are you focused on winning the award for the best decorated home? Do you want to make great memories with family and friends? Do you want to give back to your community?
Identifying your goals upfront helps you figure out what to focus on and what to bypass. It guides you to reject the good, and better in favor of the best. My goals this season are to celebrate Christ; creatively show God’s love to family, friends and even strangers without going into debt; make great memories with my family; and maintain my exercise regimen. I’m aiming for simplicity.
Plan Ahead: Advance planning will almost always lower your stress level because you know you are prepared. Who do you want to give cards and gifts? What is your budget? Are you staying home or traveling? What’s your holiday menu? What’s the plan for kids when school gets out? What parties will you attend and what invitations will you respectfully decline? Who is responsible for what in the family? Make shopping lists. Be sure to buy enough wrapping paper and tape.
Set and Respect Your Boundaries: This is particularly important for the people pleasers who tend to let others trample all over them. Don’t take on more than what you have already planned. Be confident that real friends are not users. It’s fine to set boundaries even for family members, no matter how much guilt they try to impose. Even if they are temporarily taken aback by your decisions, they will eventually get over it. Setting your boundaries also extends to your budget. Don’t give into the peer pressure to go over budget.
Request Help: The #1 reason for holiday stress is doing too much. Hire some help. Include other family members to lighten the load, especially the young adults and children in your home. Stick to what you are great at doing. Just say “No” to anything that does not advance your goals for the season.
Ensure Adequate Rest and Exercise: With shopping, gift wrapping, parties, card writing, school events, church engagements, cooking, cleaning and such, this can be a very hectic time. Nonetheless, it is important to make adequate time to rest your body; ideally you should sleep 8 hours a day. You also want to have a consistent exercise regimen as this will go a long way to maintain your emotional health and burn off those extra holiday calories.
Have Fun!: Whatever else you do, have fun this season and share the joy with others especially those less fortunate. There are many people who are feeling lonely and insignificant and you could just be the one to make their season bright. This is particularly great advice for people dealing with depression. When we focus on others, we tend to forget our pains and limitations.
The Holiday Season should be one of great joy and peace. No matter how stressed out and unpleasant some others may be, you can choose this season to model God’s love. You can choose to spread joy, peace and hope wherever you go. You can choose to keep your focus on the miracle of Christ’s birth. I wish you an abundant life.
Aya Fubara Eneli is a best-selling author, Christian Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Attorney. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. For more information or to book her for your next event, visit http://www.ayaeneli.com, or e-mail her at email@example.com.