De-Stress and be Happy for the Holidays

Holiday season – so much to do – so little time. Or maybe work deadlines are crushing in. Visitors are coming. Family demands increase. Whatever your stressors this time of year, don’t let them get you down. If you can’t get rid of your stress, manage it. Here are a few tips:

  1. MAKE LISTS. Lists of what will be happening and lists of what you have to do about it can help. Whenever you feel anxious, can’t focus or can’t sleep, make a list of what needs to be done.

  2. SET TIMETABLES. If the lists aren’t enough to help you get on top of the pressures facing you, make a time table of what you have to do. Start with your deadline (project is due, people are coming or the Holiday date) and work backwards from the final things that have to be done to the first steps you will take. Be as realistic as you can, given your time frame.

  3. GET MATERIALS. Get the items you need to complete your tasks, presents, decorations, food, etc. Lists will help you do this with fewer trips and less time.

  4. GET STARTED. This is the fun part. Do one thing on your list and check it off. Best stress reducer ever!

  5. KEEP GOING. Complete a task. Check it off the list. Repeat. If you are still stressed, try:

  6. PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION. Get in a comfortable position and start with your feet, first tensing the muscles, then relaxing completely, moving up your legs, torso and arms and back to your neck and head. When you have tightened and relaxed all your muscles, let go and completely relax.

  7. FOUR SQUARE BREATHING. Sit comfortably in a comfortable chair and count as you breathe. In 1234, hold 1234, out1234, hold 1234. Repeat

  8. CHECK OUT. If none of this helps, escape. Get your favorite beverage and snack and sit in front of the TV, computer or smart phone and watch mindless programs or play games. You will still be alive tomorrow (probably) and can start over.

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