Holiday Stress is Just a Fact of Life for Many. What About YOU?
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D. NBCT, RScP
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I have many fond memories of holidays past. I remember my Grandmother sewing clothes for the new dolls my sister and I would be receiving on Christmas morning, and when quizzed about the tiny dresses she was making (because kids are curious, after all) she explained that Santa was so busy, he had asked her to help out. My younger sister and I bought it hook, line and sinker, of course. Why wouldn't we? Santa could do anything!
I remember going to bed on Christmas Eve too excited to sleep and wanting to wait up to hear the reindeer that would surely make a racket when they landed on the tin roof of our house. I also fretted that the fireplace had long ago been closed up. How would Santa get in the house without an open chimney? Thankfully, it turned out that Santa could do anything.
I remember another evening when we got home from a family outing and it appeared that Santa had made an early visit leaving my sister and me the snappiest strap sandal heels in the world! We wore them every day and felt so grown up in the process. There is a photo in the family album of the two of us dressed alike (because we dressed alike a lot back in those days) wearing our strappy sandal heels and listening to Andy Williams on TV crooning out Christmas carols. It was a festive time for sure.
The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, and a time for making happy memories.
The holidays can be a mixed bag for many of us, however.
Last December, Entrepreneur Magazine released an article that suggested that nearly everyone experiences heightened stress during the holidays. Two years ago, Huffington Post offered an article on why we get depressed during the holiday season and what we can do about it.
In my free Master Class on how manage stress more effectively and proactively during the holidays, I offer 7 specific strategies that match what I offer in my free ebook on stress.
If you haven't taken the time to watch the Master Class on how to manage your stress during the holidays, and you are feeling a little frazzled with all that needs to be done this season, I urge you to give yourself the gift of time and watch. In it I talk about the 7 specific habits you can start doing right away that will help you feel less stressed and more in charge of your life. They don't require that you buy any fancy equipment either. Most of the things discussed in the Master Class are things you already know you should be doing...but you may not appreciate (yet) how important they are to your overall health and well-being.
I wish for you that you enjoy the holidays this year without the hassle and without the stress. If you are feeling stressed or even depressed, however, I don't recommend that you ignore your feelings. You should deal with them openly and be honest about them. Pretending that everything is okay when it really isn't only leads to more depression and a sense of isolation. Believe me. I know from my own past experience. Depression is something most of us try to hide thinking that no one can tell, and if you are really good at it, sometimes they can't. That just means that they aren't available to you to help, however, and it increases your sense of being alone.
The holiday season is a time for you to take care of yourself as well as everyone else. Failing to practice self-care during this time of year can lead to your coming down with a cold or flu, and then you are really miserable. Because stress depresses our immune system, however, we are more prone to illness during the times that are are particularly stressed, and that makes us particularly vulnerable during the holidays.
So, take a look at the Master Class. Learn (or re-learn) the 7 specific habits that you can start practicing right now that will help you feel stronger and more resilient. It will be time well spent if it helps you avoid getting sick in December, won't it?
Until next time.