My Top Seven Holistic Stress Relief Techniques for the Holiday Season

Nativity_tree2011Whether or not you are going through a difficult life change at the moment, the holidays can be stressful. With family events, presents to buy, and parties to host, it can seem like there is too much to do in just one month’s time. This leaves many women feeling stressed out, either about their finances, about how long it takes to plan the family Christmas dinner, or just about hosting and spending time with family members who you might very well love, but can also be a negative influence in your life.

A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs. Joan Welsh

Some women may turn to pharmaceutical solutions to help combat the stress of the holiday season, but there are many holistic treatments that can be used instead to reduce the stress of the holidays. Here are seven of the best non-pharmaceutical, holistic stress relief techniques.

  1. Nutrition – What you eat has a huge effect on your body. If you are eating foods that cause your body stress (as they are hard to process, do not contain the nutrition that your body needs, or are just downright bad for you), your body will be less able to handle all of the other stress that is coming into your life. On the other hand, if you eat natural, holistic foods (plenty of organic vegetables, protein, and fruit), your body will be less stressed and better able to handle other sources of anxiety.
  1. Walking – While just about any kind of exercise is great for your body, walking is especially good for stress relief. Why? Because it gets your heart rate up without putting undue strain on your body. Running, boxing, and other high impact exercises can put too much extra strain on your system, but walking allows you to get the exercise you need, take advantage of exercise’s stress relieving benefits, without encountering any of the negatives. When you fell yourself getting stressed, it is a good idea to throw on your coat and take a walk around the neighborhood, giving your body some time to process what’s going on.
  1. Money Management – The holidays can bring any financial troubles to the forefront. You want to get the best presents for you loved ones and you want to throw the best parties, but both of those endeavors require money. If you are short on money, this can cause anxiety. Making sure you have a handle on your money management is a great way to control exactly how much you spend. Most people save for the holiday season throughout the entire year, but as unexpected expenses crop up, it can be difficult to keep that money set aside. As much as possible, make sure you know where your money is going, at ALL time during the year, and even more so during the holiday season.
  1. Time Management – Nothing can be more stressful than feeling that you do not have enough time to complete all of the tasks that you need to do. What this means is that you have too many to-do’s on your list. You need to cut back or risk facing holiday burnout.
  1. Homemade Gifts – If you love making crafts, there can be something particularly relaxing about creating homemade gifts, instead of just going out and pulling something off of the shelves. Plus, it can cost far less to make your loved ones something special, rather than to purchase something. They will appreciate not only the beautiful gift, but the time and effort you put into making it.
  1. Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy can be seriously helpful when it comes to managing holiday stress. It’s not just about having a pleasant-smelling candle burning while you complete your chores, it’s about finding a scent that really calms the body. As soon as you smell that scent, you will feel more relaxed, even if nothing else in your situation has substantively changed. Some of the most common relaxing oils include peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile.
  1. Holiday Stress Support – Don’t let the stress of the holidays overtake and overwhelm you! If you need support, you can find it, either in person or online. There are online support clubs for those who find this time especially difficult, whether it be because of a job loss, a death of a loved one, debt, etc. This support clubs can help you gain perspective so that  you enter the new year feeling positive, optimistic, and balanced.

Now it’s YOUR turn.  Please tell us:

1.  What is your major source of holiday stress right now?

2. Which one(s) of the holistic stress relief strategies above would work best for you?

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.

5 Tips For Reducing Stress During The Holiday Season

Holiday stress6

Do you ever have one of those experiences where something that you really, really enjoy can also be stressful at the same time because of how much you want everything to go right? Well, holidays can often be one of those times and that’s why it’s something that I wanted to address today!

 Although the holiday season can be one of the most welcome times of the year, it can be very stressful for a lot of people. Reducing stress during the holiday season can especially be hectic for busy women who have to prepare large meals, deal with difficult relatives and shop at crowded stores. If the feeling of responsibly for the holiday season is something that always stresses you out, the subject is dealt with in great depth in the HOLIDAY STRESS MANAGEMENT BOOK.

 But here are 5 quick tips for holiday stress relief and a little taste of what you can expect from the book!

 1. Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to relieve some stress during the holidays is to plan ahead. For example, if you have to cook a big Christmas dinner for family members, create a grocery list of the items you need and buy all the items in one shopping trip. Taking the time to plan ahead will definitely save you a lot of hassle during this busy season.

2. Exercise Regularly

Exercising on a regular basis during the holiday season won’t just keep your body in great shape; it will also improve your mood and help alleviate some of that stress you’re feeling. Try to find time to exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. For example, you can go on a walk around your neighborhood in the morning.

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3. Eat As Healthy As You Can

It can be especially difficult during the holidays to eat a healthy diet because there are sugary treats everywhere. However, you should resist the urge to indulge all the time if you want to keep your stress levels down. Fill your diet with a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These foods will give you energy and keep you focused during the holiday season.

4. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help

If you are stressed out because you have a lot on your plate, don’t be afraid to ask for help. For example, if you are preparing a big dinner for your family, ask relatives to bring side dishes so that you don’t have to do as much cooking. 

5. Give Yourself a Break

Even if you are super busy, it is still important to give yourself a break during the holiday season. Set aside at least 30 minutes each day to spend time doing what you enjoy. Take a hot bubble bath, take your dog for a walk, read a book or go out to lunch with a friend. If you take time out of your day to do things you enjoy, you will be less stressed during the holidays. If you follow these helpful tips, you can relieve some of that stress you feel so that you can enjoy the holidays. 

I hope you enjoyed taking the time to think about some of these ideas about holiday stress. While many people know that holidays can be stressful, not enough people take the time to realize that holidays really don’t have to be stressful at all when you’re armed with the right advice.

Don’t forget to check out the HOLIDAY STRESS RELIEF BOOK if you want everything you need for a stress-resilient and fun-filled holiday period!

The Kindle book covers many different types of holidays – not just the end-of year holiday season. There are lots of holidays and events throughout the year that can be fun if you take the time to learn how to manage the stress that surrounds them!

 HOLIDAY STRESS MANAGMENT BOOK

To your holiday stress relief success!

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.