For many, it’s the best time of the year and the worst time of year. How to stay calm this holiday season!
While the holidays are filled with excitement, connectedness, glitter, and the rush of buying presents and getting together with loved ones, for many, it’s the dread of all these same things too. We all wear our stress differently, and the key is not only being aware of what your stressors are, but having coping mechanisms or go-to alternates when things get out of hand of you feel your anxieties rising. Here are a few tips on how to get through the holidays unscathed, and keeping the stress monsters from peering their ugly heads.
Keep Things Simple
Remember what yo’ mamma said….Stick to the KISS method. (Mine always said that.) If you’re going out or travelling with the kids, keeping mind their attentions spans are shorter than ours. Plan brief outings of an hour or less, and make sure to stop frequently on road trips. If you’re flying, have lots of activities and snacks on hand. It’s ok if they ink-it-out for a few hours. If it keeps your sanity, and theirs, let it go. It’s a gift.
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
While mindset is everything, it’s also to be realistic about things not going smoothy. Tell your self before hand that if things go awry, or not as planned, it’s ok, and just go with the flow. They’ll be happier and less stressed, and so will you.
Have An Entrance And Exit Plan
You’ve got a party or get-together to go to, and already in reactive mode–you do not want to go because that someone you really don’t want to see will be there, like your Ex, your Mother-In-Law, or someone you’ve had a falling out with. Anxiety and set in and you’re already stressing and panicking. No need. I know it can be nerve-wracking, but if you’re going to go, you might as well decide that you’re going to have a good time. this night isn’t the night to engage, battle, or bring up all the little and big things bothering you. Save that for another time when it’s private. The evenings’ success is going to depend on how you’ve decided to walk in. Make that decision a positive one. Head high, chin up, but no ego please. That’s defence. Don’t wear that. “That” takes a lot of effort, and will definitely hamper your ability to enjoy yourself. Go in the “bigger”one. Smile on, calm and cool as a cucumber, say a polite hello, and move along, kindly. Know who you’re going to spend time with in advance, so you stay clear of those you’d prefer to avoid engaging in a conversation with. Decide in advance how long you’re going to give yourself until it’s time to do a mental check in about how things are going, and take it from there. If you’ve had enough, leave. If the time flew, and you’re enjoying yourself, stay! The goal is to avoid conflict at all costs, but stay kind, calm and pleasant. Lead by example I always say, but remember, that ego stays at home.
Let those around you know this is a hard time of year for you, and keep smiling, and keep it simple.
Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!