Background Shadow

Handling Holiday Stress

Santa's Elf is Starting to Panic!A few days to Christmas?  Yikes!

Are you feeling stressed yet?

Why is it that “the most wonderful time of the year” finds so many of us …

frazzled,

irritable,

worn-out,

and/or overwhelmed?

It’s not like we’re  utterly clueless – we have a mental list of all we must accomplish.  And just like Santa, we’re “checking it twice” to determine if we’ll be “naughty or nice” this holiday season.   The problem is…

Our holiday to-do list is often dictated by other people’s expectations.  Clean to satisfy the ultra-picky house guests.  Decorate outside to compete with your neighbors (or at least stay in their decor league).  Prepare a fabulous meal to impress the culinary expert in your family.  Give a gift that will meet or exceed the value of one you’re likely to receive.  Don’t overdress or under dress for that holiday party.  Give the perfect gifts to your children (as dictated by commercial influence and peer group).  Do this. Don’t do that.   The exhausting part is…

Sometimes most of what’s on our holiday to-do list reflects someone else’s values (or our perception of their values).  And that suggests that we may be busily marching to the beat of whose drum?  Mother-in-law?  Neighborhood?  Brother?  Coworkers? Best friend?  Peer group?  Anyway, it’s not necessarily our own drumbeat (even though it’s really loud), and we have a delightful choice…

We can give ourselves a gift of revising our last-minute holiday to-do lists to more closely reflect what we value.  We can welcome Mother-in-law into a clean home even if we can’t repaint and re-carpet the bedroom.  Our gifts can reflect our love for the recipient without breaking the bank.  Freed from the need to impress, our meal can become a delicious feast with even the most simple fare.  Our tree may be small, but it could rock our house.

Holiday stress builds as we race to successfully satisfy other people’s expectations.  We reduce holiday stress as we learn to recognize and respond to our own values.  So when you tackle your last-minute holiday to-do list …

March more closely to the beat of your own drum,

and

breathe a small sigh of relief!

Santa's Elf with Sign Edge   

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Comments

  1. So true are your words of wisdom. Just see if you can follow.

  2. Anne Arbogast says:

    Thanks for your POST, It w as very helpful . Carol and her family are here for ten days . Love having them ! Have a BLESSED CHRISTMAS ! Anne

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