Tips for surviving holiday stress!

Christmas bell and hollyAs the holiday season is fast approaching (some would say it’s already in full swing), I went looking for ideas to share. In the following article, I found some great tips for surviving holiday stress.

The breathing technique that she describes is very similar to the one that I mention to my clients and friends. The way I recommend to do it is:  slowly count to 4 on the inhale, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, and hold for a count of 4.  Repeat that a few times – it is sure to help you unwind and get more relaxed!

Read the article below for more ways to survive holiday stress.

CENTERS’ PIECE: Happy holiday stress

December 04, 2011 10:00 AM

Janet Edington

Well, folks, here it almost is again! The fun, relaxed, stress-free holiday season is waiting in the wings!

Everyone will get along with no family tension and no disagreements. All the Christmas gifts will be exactly what each person wanted. No one will spend too much money. You will be relaxed and in a good mood at all times …

Hey, it could happen that way.

But, in case you are skeptical, here are some suggestions on how to lower your stress level and enjoy yourself more.

>> Don’t expect perfection from yourself or others.

>> Prioritize.

>> Delegate.

>> Budget — don’t overspend!

>> Relax.

You have got to be kidding, you say.

No, relaxation can include some simple techniques like deep breathing, imaging, and progressive muscle relaxation. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time to give yourself a break.

Deep breathing means breathing in slowly through your nose until you make your stomach pooch out and your lungs feel full. Hold it for 3 or 4 seconds and then breathe out slowly through your nose. Do several of these; i.e., four or five.

This helps because when we are stressed, we breathe more shallowly. Oxygenating the blood relaxes the body.

Another option is tensing and relaxing muscle groups, starting at the neck and moving down to the feet and legs. The tensing helps you recognize the difference between a state of tension in your muscles and a state of relaxation.

You can do this after you do the deep breathing exercise.

Another option is imaging. Take yourself back to some relaxing, fun or beautiful place you have visited or would like to go.

Take some deep breaths, close your eyes and imagine you are there. Use all of your senses; remember or imagine the smells, sounds, sights and the sense of peace it brings you. You are there in every way except your physical body.

Meditation and prayer are also good ways to achieve a state of relaxation.

None of these suggestions take much time. With practice you will be able to achieve a more peaceful, relaxed state of mind with little effort.

Remember, perfection is not an achievable goal, no matter how hard you try! We get to be fallible, with shortcomings and even weaknesses.

Your family loves you for who you are, not for how exhausted or grumpy you become trying to make the Holidays perfect for everyone else.

The bottom line is, give yourself some tender, loving care during the hectic Season ahead. Find some small ways to treat yourself so you will have the emotional and physical energy to make it through that “to-do” list.

Find time to relax and refuel!

Original article posted here.

What are some of your tips for surviving holiday stress? Please comment below!  Aside from getting a massage, one of my favorites is to soak in a bathtub filled with hot water, epsom salts, and some essential oils. A nice glass of wine helps, too.  ;o)