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December 11th, 2009:

Dealing with Stressfull Holidays

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn 2009

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn 2009

So how is it going this December?  Is your calendar full of parties, family gatherings, programs at school, church, community?  Is your shopping complete? Perfect presents chosen and wrapped for everyone on your list?  You did make a list didn’t you?  How is the house looking?  Decorations up and looking good?  Trees decorated?  Cookies made? Cards signed, addressed and mailed?  Bedrooms ready for the in-laws?  Casseroles waiting in the freezer for all those holiday meals?  Turkey, ham, goose, duck waiting for final preparation?

This could go on and on and on!   We all know what extra pressure the holidays bring to our lives.  Often we forget the real reasons we are doing all these activities!  Stress takes over and we end up grumpy, tired, irritated, depressed and miserable.  What to do!?!

Stress can be dealt with in several ways.  One thing is to make a list of things you need to accomplish each day, keeping 3 to 5 chores on the list, no more.  Don’t overload your day.  Keep the tasks each day in a reasonable amount of time and effort, spreading the harder chores over time (and maybe people too) will help keep you energized.

Ask for help and expect help with bigger projects.  Dinner for the extended family means others can bring different dishes, the kids can set the tables, your spouse can do the last minute dusting and vacuuming!  Asking for help is a good thing!  People like to feel useful and part of an event.  So delegate those chores!  You are making others feel needed and wanted. Perfect.

Choose Healthy Snacks

Choose Healthy Snacks

Another way to help with stress is to exercise and eat good food each day.  Keep up the membership to the gym and use it during the holidays!  You will be able to work off that extra cookie and not gain weight during the holidays!    Look at the events on your calendar and plan light meals before these events.  Choose a protein shake and drink a warm cup of green tea!  Then when you are at the event, all those high calorie finger foods will be easier to limit.  Choose your calories and carbohydrates with care and enjoy those seasonal treats with no guilt.  Keep your immune system happy and healthy, while lowering stress.

Enjoy the time with family and friends!  Time flies and hot summer will be here next week! Stay well.

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