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Five Ways to Reduce Stress Before the Holiday

Posted Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
woman looking stressed in front of a pile of wrapped presents

Enjoy some heavenly peace this holiday season.

Poor, maligned Ebenezer Scrooge voiced what most of us feel on occasion – that the holidays are a lot of humbug. Underneath the joyful trappings, many of us dread the responsibilities and family pressures associated with pivotal holidays, when we seem to be expected to manufacture family feeling and seasonal magic like we’re the ones flying around the world on a big red sleigh. If the pressures of the season are getting you down, reduce stress by following these five simple wellness techniques.

1. Focus on being present in the moment.

When we are looking forward to the holiday, the combination of stress and anticipation quickly cause us to lose sight of the present. Take time each day to center yourself. Some people find meditation helpful, but if that doesn’t appeal to you try sitting quietly with a book or a cup of coffee instead. As you prepare for the holiday, focus on what you are experiencing now, like the simple act of wrapping presents. When you fully experience the moment you are in, you can also momentarily forget your to-do list.

2. Don’t try to do everything perfectly.

Holidays are a bad time for perfectionists. They may set their normally high standards even higher, in part because of idealized memories of past holidays, but also because they try to meet the expectations of children and other loved ones. It’s hard to think about disappointing ourselves or the people with whom we’re close. Still, you will do better if you repeat this mantra: there is no such thing as the perfect Christmas. As nearly every Christmas movie will tell you, Christmas is perfect because of its imperfections. Enjoy what happens and let go of the ideal. It’s better for everyone.

3. Spend time taking care of your body.

Santa by night, employee by day, and hostess every weekend, we are all getting a little less sleep. On top of that, sugary sweets and alcoholic drinks surround us at every turn. Make a few healthy choices, like having more crudités than cookies and increasing your water intake to compensate for the extra cocktails. If you can, go for a run or book a massage, and reconnect with your healthy body. It’s tempting to put off good choices for the New Year. Don’t. A few changes now will make a big difference in your stress levels.

4. Avoid holiday arguments with family.

Emotions run high around the holidays. You may not be able to avoid every tense conversation, but it’s possible to handle difficult people with courtesy. When Aunt Jean asks when you’re planning to start a family, smile and tell her you are more comfortable keeping such personal information private. Don’t fume silently over unfairly-distributed responsibilities. Kindly but clearly tell your brother that it would be a big help if he took over washing the dishes so you can finish mashing the potatoes. And when crazy Uncle Ed starts talking politics, leave the room as fast as you can.

5. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

Some things you need to do, some things you want to do, and some things you just end up doing because nobody else offered. Be an advocate for yourself this year. Take a look at everything that you’ve committed to do over the holidays, and think about whether you could ask somebody else to help with one of the tasks on your list. Oftentimes people are glad to help, particularly if you are hosting or organizing the family holiday this year. And if you aren’t able to take on that task and no one else is willing to help out, it’s probably not all that important.

Remember there are often professionals who are available to help too. Modernistic’s team of highly rated carpet, hardwood, and tile cleaners can make your house sparkle while you spend a few moments sitting by the Christmas tree. You deserve to enjoy the season while someone else works for a while. Use our easy online scheduling tool to book your appointment today.

Serving Grand Ledge, Michigan for 40 years.

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