Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Stress

Before the holiday stress starts, now would be a good time to put together a plan for handling the stressful issues that come up during the holidays.

Cooking, cleaning, decorating, gift buying, parties, family, they all can add to the usual stressors of the day.

Give yourself permission to cut out stress by saying "no". Let someone else do the cooking this year. Clean the rooms necessary and let the others go until after the holidays. Decorate if you want, and as much as you want. Only if it isn't stressful. If you don't want to decorate - don't. Don't be pressured to doing something just because everyone else is.

Gift buying can be a major stressor. Just managing the shopping is enough to give anyone an anxiety attack. Make things easier on yourself. Give gift cards. Or, ask people not to give you gifts and tell them that you will not be giving gifts this year. Donate to a favorite charity instead.

Parties can be fun, but they can also be a place where inhibitions disappear. Watch the alcohol and sugar intake. Leave early, it's okay. You don't have to be the last one at the party. Go with a friend who can be there for you if you have a panic attack or anxiety attack.

Families can be families. With all the drama that goes with them. Holidays and forced togetherness can be a set up for confrontations. Walk away. Don't let yourself get sucked into an argument. It's not worth it. Even if you are right, and your sister did pull the head off your favorite doll when you were six years old.

Give yourself permission to relax this holiday season. Take time for yourself. Make time for yourself. It's important to your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

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