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November 2002, Holiday Stress

By February 2, 2016 No Comments

Are Holidays and Hair Loss Synonymous? As a stress management trainer and consultant, Simma understands the stresses that are associated with the holidays–from spending time with family to holiday shopping. Read Simma’s article “Tips for Managing Holiday Madness” below to gain insight on how to make your holidays less stressful:

1. GET GIFT-EFFICIENT. Make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for. Then, buy everyone gifts from the same stores (e.g. bath and body lotions, candles, books), shop on the Web from one mall site, or buy everyone magazine subscriptions. Get a couple of extra gifts with blank cards so you won’t be embarrassed if someone you forgot or don’t like buys you a gift.

2. REFUSE INVITATIONS. You don’t have to go to every event you are invited to. It’s okay to refuse invitations, particularly from friends and family who create stressful environments for you. Forcing yourself to spend time with them will only interfere with your serenity. The holiday season is only once a year, so don’t waste it on events and activities that will make you miserable.

3. RELISH IN TRADITIONS. Relish the traditions you have created for yourself or your family during the holidays. If you find traditions lacking, create new ones. Do you have foods, music, events, activities, and rituals that you enjoy during this time of the year? Build one into every day so that you have something to look forward to. Play a favorite holiday song while brushing your teeth and getting ready for work. If you can’t cook a dish that your mother used to make during the holidays, go out and find a restaurant or friend who can.

4. AVOID SHOPPING RAGE. Your parking spot gets stolen, you pick the slowest checkout line, and you can’t find decent help. You can either find the humor in the situation or simmer in stress and frustration. Unless you have the power to change the situation, frustration will only create more negative energy. Gain perspective by projecting forward a week and determining how much this frustration will matter. Find a way to chuckle about the realities of shopping during the holidays, and move on.

5. BREATHE. Practice conscious breathing exercises ten minutes a day. This will keep you calm and relaxed through the end of the year as you face stressful situations. Any time you feel overwhelmed or stressed, taking a few deep breaths will help you separate mentally and emotionally from the stresses. This is particularly helpful when dealing with demanding relatives, friends, or coworkers who want you to come to their house or -worse! – come to yours.

6. LEARN TO LET GO. Remember you can’t control the behavior and attitudes of those people around you. You can’t control their drinking, smoking, eating or inappropriate remarks. It’s not your fault if your first cousin loudly insults the rest of the family or if a friend makes the wrong comment at the wrong time. Remember your deep breathing exercises.

7. DON’T COMPARE. When you talk to friends and family at get-togethers, make a concerted effort not to start comparing yourself to others, no matter how great their clothes, lifestyles, appearance, or jobs seem to be. Don’t knock down your spirits with comparisons like these and push these thoughts out of your head if you find yourself starting to make them.

8. SCHEDULE TIME TO BE ALONE. When you consciously plan to have alone time, it keeps you empowered and reduces possible feelings of melancholy during the holiday season. You will also be also be less overwhelmed by external stimuli. Besides, when you begin to feel good about being alone, everyone will call and e-mail you to make demands on your time.

9. AVOID THE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION SET-UP. Resolutions should not be focused solely on “fixing” yourself. Your number one resolution should be to continue to do the things that make you happy. Think about the people and activities you enjoy and commit yourself to spending more time with these people and activities and less time with people and projects that add stress to your life.

10. SHOW YOU CARE. Finally, take some time to think about the people you love and care about. Give them the gift of a phone call or note just to let them know how important they are to you during the holidays. Most people need this type of nourishment in general and may need it even more during the holidays.

Diversity During the Holidays
Commercial America still focuses primarily on Christmas during this time of the year. The plethora of Santas, ornaments, and stockings at your nearby mall proves this. In our diverse society, many different events, both spiritual, religious, and tradition based, are being celebrated. In the spirit of the holidays, learn to be inclusive. Here are some tips to appreciate various traditions and preferences.

1. Mark your calendar. If the calendar or PDA you use does not list holidays like Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Ramadan, and Diwali, find out the dates and record them as reminders. Many programs like Outlook allow users to add calendar dates for celebrations from different parts of the world automatically. Check out your software in the Help section to see if you can do this for yours.

2. Be respectful. With these dates in mind, plan events and meetings around various holidays. Surprise your friends and colleagues by sending them an email to share in their celebration on these days.

3. Make no expectations. Realize that people celebrate a variety of holidays during this time of year, and some people choose to celebrate none. Be respectful of these differences by taking interest in other people’s traditions and making them feel welcome. Don’t be afraid to ask people what holidays they celebrate. Find out what they do during this time of the year that is special. Let it be an opportunity to learn about different cultures and religions and the traditions that accompany them.

Simma Lieberman

Author Simma Lieberman

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