10 Ways to Deal With Stress & Major Life Changes During the Holidays

holiday-bluesThe holidays are already a stressful time. Let’s face it, they are probably the most stressful time of the year. No matter how much you love your family, they can also be some of the most stress-inducing people in your life, especially when you are going through a major life challenge like a career change, a divorce, or coping with a disease.

But holiday stress doesn’t just come from your family, or your circumstances, you can levy it on yourself with unrealistic expectations or it can bubble up as a result of past bad experiences during what should be the most relaxing, happy, and stress-free time of year. Instead of letting stress rule your life during the holiday season, we have 10 ways to deal with stress and major life changes e effects of a major life challenge during the holidays.

  1. Join the Holiday S.O.S Club. You’ll get free encouragement, tips, and talks right to your inbox, including even more ways to fight stress and lessen the effect of life challenges during the holiday season. The holidays—regardless of which one(s) you celebrate–all come with the same basic needs and stress-inducing demands…on top of what you are already dealing with on a day to day basis facing your major life challenge! This holiday S.O.S. club can help.
  2. Change your outlook. While dealing with a life challenge, it may seem like the last thing you want to do is be merry and bright, especially when everyone around you is caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. In reality, however, you can find something to be positive and happy about, despite the challenge you may be facing.  If you change your outlook and embrace the reality of what life has thrown at you, instead of simply dreading the worst that can happen, you’re far more likely to find joy and peace during the holiday season, despite the life challenge you are facing.
  3. Try something new. If you already know that your mother-in-law is going to complain (even on the sly), about your apple pie recipe, there’s a pretty easy way to ensure she has nothing to complain about—don’t make that apple pie. Instead, try something entirely new. Don’t do what you’ve always done. Your life is likely in flux right now, so don’t try to cram it into the same old box.
  4. Try a stress reduction course. Those life challenges, whether they be job loss, death of a loved one, divorce, or disease, can make what is already a stressful time of year, even MORE overwhelming, but —only if you let them. A stress reduction course shows you how to stay on top of the stress caused be these challenges, so you can still have fun this season.
  5. Learn that it is okay to cut back. Trying to do everything yourself can be a major strain on your already over-strained mental, physical and emotionally capacities, which will further exacerbate your stress response. You, like most women, probably spend a lot of time trying to make everything perfect for everyone else and forget that you matter, too. Know that it is okay to cut back or to delegate holiday tasks (like wrapping presents, decorating the house, making cookies) to others or to cut them out altogether.
  6. Stop obsessing about how it was. With life challenges come major life changes. That means a lot of people will be looking back and wishing that life was just the same. Don’t compare your current situation to your past situation and especially don’t compare your life to someone else’s, especially during the holidays when everyone seems happier.
  7. Follow these five tips for reduced holiday stress. Having a life challenge is enough stress without also piling on the stress of the holidays. These tips will help you let go of the stress that is specifically caused by the holidays.
  8. Don’t be afraid to keep your life to yourself. One of the major stresses of the holidays and having a life challenge is being constantly asked about it. Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends that you don’t want to talk about it if you really don’t want to talk about it. Divert the conversation back to other topics that may be more pleasant for you.  At the same time, make sure to find someone that you can confide in,  someone with whom you share the burdens of the challenges that you are facing.  Talking about the major stressors you are facing is an important step in acknowledging and coping with whatever life throws at you!
  9. Don’t get involved in family squabbles. Just keep reminding yourself that (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas) this season is supposed to be about peace on earth. Your family is going to gossip and squabble—maybe about how to carve the roast beef, but also maybe about the divorce or your illness. You don’t have to get involved.
  10. Invest in a mini-coaching session. Having access to a life challenge coach or a stress management coach, even for a few hours, is a great way to help you gain some perspective and find a way to power through this stressful time of year, without missing out on all the good things that the holidays are supposed to be about. A coach can show you how to still be happy and at peace, even in the middle of your personal storm.

 If you, ( or someone you know),  are currently facing a life challenge, we would love to hear from you and learn about how you cope.  Iron sharpens iron, so feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the comment section below.

7 Holiday Stress Relief Tips To Use During Family Gatherings

holiday-stress-relief3Whenever extended families get together during holidays there may be a need for holiday stress relief tips.

Most families have conflicts every now and then.

The key is not to allow personal conflicts to ruin the entire family gathering.

Regardless of the situation there is a lot YOU can do to help keep conflicts to a minimum during family reunions, holidays, or special events.

Family Holiday Stress Relief Tips To Minimize Conflict & Confrontation

1. Be a peace-maker.

Often times family conflicts can drag on unnecessarily. If you are involved in an ongoing conflict that can’t be resolved before the family get together, make it a point to put the whole thing on hold. It may require great effort, but do your best to set those negative feelings aside for the time being.

You stand to benefit the most, since making peace opens the way for you to enjoy yourself at the event.

2. Look back at the good times.

You probably face a challenge with one specific person. If you look back over the years of knowing the person, you may be able to recall memories of good times you shared together. Try to focus on those good times instead of the recent tensions between you.

That may be easier said then done, but in the end you will feel much better and can enjoy the event much more.

3. Focus on the food.

holiday-stress-reliefFamily get togethers are usually great opportunities to enjoy delicious food. Food can be a nice distraction from family conflicts, but that does not mean that you should go overboard.

Whenever I attend a family get together I can always look forward to my mom’s home made apple pie. Not to mention the spread of snacks, main courses, and other dessert items. I usually grab my favorites and dig in, paying little attention to any ongoing family conflicts that may exist.

So focusing on the food is one family holiday stress relief tip that works for me!

4. Quietly resolve the conflict.

In some situations you simply may not be able to put a conflict aside. The best approach in that scenario is to deal head-on but with a COOL head. Your main objective should be to solve the challenge and contribute to a happy and enjoyable family event.

Losing your cool could mean that you would go down in history for starting a scene during that reunion or get-together.

That’s not the kind of family memories you want to create, is it?

5. Stay clear of third-party arguments.

Perhaps you are at peace with everyone, but tensions and ongoing conflicts are a problem for other friends and family at the event. Don’t contribute to the taxing situation by getting involved or taking sides. Do your best to stay out of the conflict. Adding more fire to the mix never helps.

If you insist on getting involved, perhaps you can point out some of the practical holiday stress relief tips in this article. Then take your leave and allow the people involved with the conflict to work out the situation themselves.

6. Get a little breathing space.

stress-relief-informationI have been at family gatherings where things got too heated for my tastes, so I temporarily removed myself from the situation. You can do the same if you need too. Perhaps you can take the dog outside for a walk.

I usually busy myself with the little ones. Walking away from a challenging confrontation may be just what you need to clear your head and calm down. Decide now, how you would use any of these 7 family holiday stress relief tips to work out your problem in a way that doesn’t involve fighting.

7. Don’t take part in turbulent topics.

Some topics of conversation can easily lead to strong emotions or difference of opinions. You may already know what those topics are for your family. So make sure not to bring them up and if someone else brings up a “forbidden topic” try to change the subject before the discussion escalates into something worse.

Family get-togethers are a wonderful time of peace and blessings. Don’t let tension and conflict rob you of those blessings. Use the family holiday stress relief tips above and focus on the good things about your family. If you do that you’ll survive all the togetherness!

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Go Stress-Free: Holiday Stress Management Strategies & Techniques

Finding holiday stress management strategies for battling and overcoming stress during the holidays can be a challenge to anyone.

There are a number of things that can lead to this type of stress:

• Family gatherings

• Coping with loss

• Busy stores

• Long lines

• Projects

• Gift buying

• Conflicts

• And more

You may also have high expectations that add to the stress of your family gathering for the holiday season.

Long gone are the days in which the season was highly anticipated and there was a sense of magic in the air. As an adult, you may find the season to be more stressful than joyous.

Worse yet, you may even consider holiday stress as a necessary holiday tradition!

Here are some holiday stress management strategies you can use to battle and overcome stress during any holiday:

1. Are you over-committed? Holidays normally come with many social gatherings that most of us feel we must attend. The fact is that you don’t have to go to every event you’re invited to. • Saying “no thank you” to some of the invitations will free up more time for yourself! If it takes saying “no” to preserve some of your sanity, go for it! Others will be more understanding than you give them credit for. • Don’t become over-burdened. Take time to be by yourself. Whether you take a yoga class or a bubble bath, allow yourself to do something enjoyable without getting all caught up and frazzled by holiday stress.

2. Carrying on traditions. Growing up, we may have seen our mothers cook a full course dinner for family gatherings. Perhaps it was routine to host a lavish holiday party. Maybe your family baked hundreds of Christmas cookies to give to friends and relatives. • Tradition is never good if you become so wrapped up in it that it consumes and devours you. If you find that the routine you normally follow for the pure and simple sake of tradition is weighing on you and resulting in more stress than you can deal with, break away from it! You will be happier when you’re free from this stress. • Rather than living up to the expectations of years past, start your own, easy-going holiday stress management traditions. Instead of throwing a lavish party, have fewer friends over for tea and cookies. Allow other family members to bring side dishes to a holiday meal rather than cooking it all yourself.

3. Finding the perfect gift. There’s so much pressure to purchase the perfect gift for each person that it takes all the fun out of shopping. Remember, people are generally appreciative for whatever gift they receive.

They don’t expect you to go to every corner of the Earth to find them a spectacular gift.

• Save time and money by skipping the wrapping! Creativity is the main focus. You can even give gifts that can be used throughout the year. For example, you may give a coupon in a card for a free night of babysitting, one day of yard work, or other special things.

• Shopping online has made searching for gifts much easier. It might also be more cost effective to buy online because many stores offer special sales or free shipping near the holidays.

Select the Holiday Stress Management Strategy That Is Best For You!

As you can see, there are several effective holiday stress management strategies and techniques to battle and overcome stress during any holiday. The key is to determine what’s causing your stress so you can eliminate it. In the end, you’ll see that most of the stress you experience is a result of the expectations you impose on yourself by living up to long-held traditions that may be “killing” you slowly and silently.

Holiday Stress Relief Tips: Surviving The Holidays Without Stress

It’s never too early to start collecting holiday stress relief tips in order to prepare for the hustle and bustle that the end of year brings. It’s a fact that the end-of-year holidays can be the cause of a great deal of stress. The stress can stem from many different situations such as family disagreements, scheduling conflicts, and money issues. No matter what situation causes you stress, it’s important to take a step back from the stress to hold onto your sanity.

5 Sanity Saving Holiday Stress Relief Tips

1.    Take Time to Yourself.  While it’s nice to think of others during the holidays, and all year round for that matter, you can’t forget about yourself in the process. Remember to schedule “me” time and concentrate on winding down. In order to take good care of others, you first have to take care of your own health and well being. 2.    Keep a Cool Head. While it may not be a problem with every family, sometimes the togetherness causes conflicts and clashing. Before you enter a family holiday event, tell yourself that you’ll take the high road. You don’t want an argument to ruin your chance at fun during the holidays. 3.    Keep Up Your Exercise Routine. Sometimes the thrill of vacation time and family togetherness can disrupt your daily routines. While a little break from exercise might not make a big difference in your physique, it might make a difference when it comes to your stress level. Try to keep up some form of exercise, as it will provide you with a release from stress. 4.    Watch your Diet. It’s not fair to yourself to completely avoid indulging on special occasion such as family get-togethers around the holidays, but at the same time you should always remain in control. Watch what you’re putting into your body, because large amounts of certain foods can definitely affect how you feel. The two big ones to watch are caffeine and sweets. 5.    Get Enough Rest. The excitement definitely kicks when families get together on special occasions. Sometimes you’ll lose sleep because of stress, and sometimes you’ll lose sleep because of excitement. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by concentrating on relaxation and getting to bed at a good hour. If you start a pattern of getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night, you could be setting yourself up for stress without even really knowing it.