Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to EVERYONE. It can be useful or productive in small doses, though too much stress is not good, and how you handle that bad stress may impact whether you are able to enjoy the holiday season and if you're putting your wellbeing at risk.
Perhaps you are thinking, how can I lower my stress? The bills will not stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, work and home life will always be demanding and Christmas is coming!”
While it may seem like there is nothing you can do about holiday stress, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control.
The first thing is to identify all of your stressors right now..... even the ones that are related to the holidays.
Often, we are not even aware of what causes us stress. So, take time to check in with yourself, without judgment. Here is a ‘What’s stressing me out?’ template for you to Download and fill in your stressors.
Once you have identified your stressors, what can you do about these?
Firstly, is there anything you can do to reduce or reframe them. For example:
Are you able to avoid the stressor? Can you get up a little earlier to get ready for the day? Or leave for work early in the morning in order to take a less busy route and avoid traffic?
Are you able to work to resolve any conflicts with others? By practicing forgiveness, compassion, or setting aside time to talk through issues?
Are you able to prepare in advance for the stress of the holiday season? Such as booking meetings not too far into December, or trips to the store, shopping,
Are you able to intentionally choose to view change (or anything else that is causing you stress) as a positive challenge or opportunity, rather than a threat?
Are you able to practice self-compassion? By setting realistic goals and letting go of perfectionism or other unrealistic expectations you might have for yourself and/or others?
It’s important to know, even though we might not always be able to eliminate or reduce a stressor, being aware is KEY so this can help you recognize when you are able to take corrective action!
Quote of the week:
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James
I look forward to sharing the next part in reducing your stress for the holiday season. Have a lovely day and in case no one has told you this lately, you're amazing!
P.S What is in your control is promoting relaxation to help you during stressful times. Get your holiday gift early this year and perhaps also buy something for others who are also needing a little breather. Relaxation found HERE.