'Tis the Season when numerous articles and blog posts hit the internet about how to reduce holiday stress. (NOTE: This is not a knock on all those articles. I do appreciate the authors' insights, tips and amazing intentions. I truly do.)
I just remember when I would stress out over the holidays, particularly after my divorce. If one more person told me to draw my boundaries, stick to my budget, eat as healthy as possible, get plenty of rest, I would've run screaming into the street while tearing my hair out at the roots.
The stress was real and I just wanted someone, anyone to say…"Pam, I get it. That stress is a real bitch! What do YOU need to get through the holidays?" As opposed to, "Pam, you should manage your budget." "You should make sure you get plenty of sleep." "You should say "no" to the holiday gatherings."
Those who know me well, know that "should'ing" all over me raises my hackles faster than you can say, "Santa Claus is coming to town." But I digress.
What I needed when I was stressed to the gills was a little bit of self-compassion and a good cry. To focus a little time on me instead of trying to be the hostess with the most-est, and to give myself a little grace.
And that leads me to the point of this entire post…my one out of the ordinary tip for dealing with the stress of the holidays.
THAT ONE TIP
If you're feeling stressed for whatever reason…whether the holidays are a painful time, the budget is tight, or family drama is as common as eggnog or dreidels…rather than "should" all over you, the only thing I will do is ask…
What do YOU need to get through the holidays?
Do you need a good cry?
Do you need someone to just say, "I get it!"?
Do you need a hug?
Do you need to disconnect from social media?
Do you need to become a holiday hermit and hold up in your house with some good books?
What do YOU need, sincerely and truly? Because knowing and honoring what you need is important and no one is an expert in your life except you!
That’s it. That's my one tip… which really isn't a tip, but a question in hopes that you will seriously consider what you need.
BUT JUST IN CASE…
…you really want some tips, here are a few that are my tried and true holiday stress busters.
Create a holiday ritual or tradition just for you. Something that recharges your batteries and helps you to insulate yourself a bit more from the stress. Any time we are run down, we become more susceptible to the stress. For example, at the suggestion of my own coach, I'd buy a small bottle of bubbly and pour myself one glass to toast all my accomplishments for the year. It was actually fun and something that used to take the sting out of the holidays, as well as recharge my batteries.
Shit journaling. It can be a journal or just a piece of paper, but some place to capture all your thoughts and feelings, especially the not so good ones. It's a great and safe way to move through some of the things that are creating the stress.
Create a holiday posse. Santa had his elves. Why not have some of your own? Form a posse of people that you can count on to help you deal with the stressful situations.
Just remember, you matter as do your thoughts and feelings! Here's to having as stress-free a holiday as possible! Sending you all much love and light from my open-heart to yours!!