Managing Stress During the Holidays So You Can Maintain Your Commitment to Self Healing
Have you started yet? You know, have you started the process of telling yourself that this holiday season you can handle more than you really can?
I used to be so good at doing that. I thought I was the holiday super woman so I’d be running around doing all kinds of activities, eating all kinds of foods that weren’t good for me, and staying up late getting ready for various festivities with family and friends.
I spent so much time getting ready—including buying and wrapping presents, it was a wonder I ever actually enjoyed the season with my loved ones. I didn’t create much time to just enjoy them and receive the gifts of their “presence.”
When I was much younger, I seemed to be able to power through even if I had depleted myself to the point of catching a cold, having headaches or feeling run-down. But I’m not in my twenties anymore and I don’t find it so easy to just power my way through. Besides, I’d rather have some energy for actually enjoying the people I love and care about.
Ask yourself, “Am I pushing my edges unnecessarily?”
Holidays have been a huge temptation for me to push the edges and tell myself. “I’ll make up for it later.”
At this year’s Thanksgiving dinner I had to remind myself over and over about how good my body was going to feel because I chose not to eat that piece of processed-sugar-laden piece of cherry pie. Because I was in the middle of cleansing my body, sugary foods and alcohol were not going to help me clear out toxins. Plus, too much sugar in my diet compromises my immune system. Too many sweets stress the body, so I said, “No thank you,” repeatedly.
I could choose my old life-style if I wanted to, but I’d rather live longer and healthier. Living without stress is a choice worth making. That means I make choices I know reduce my stress levels and increase my potential for healing. This includes choosing to spend time with people and circumstances where I am more inclined to enjoy myself and less inclined to be emotionally stressed.
Stress slows down healing.
There are numerous studies available demonstrating that stress slows down our healing. For example stress can slow down the healing of wounds and compromise the immune system, making us more vulnerable to infectious illness. If my body is already challenged, it doesn’t make sense to make it more susceptible, especially now that I know approximately 70% of all illnesses and disease are attributed to stress.
So, while the holidays can be a temptation to interrupt your normal self-healing program, perhaps you would like to join me in affirming and taking action for wellness. One of the best ways you can do this is to identify any areas in your life in which you tend to feel stressed emotionally and physically during the holidays. This is something I do with my clients in Private Counseling Sessions. Once identified, consider ways you can transform those moments to allow you to experience create greater relaxation and joy instead.
Your self healing deserves to be a priority.
You are the one who needs to make sure your needs are taken care of physically and emotionally. After all, you are the one who has the most to lose if you don’t take care of yourself and the most to gain if you do.
That means, you probably want to tend to those emotional triggers right away so you can stay calm. Many of my clients use this free Holding meditation to lovingly hold their emotional triggers until the intense feelings subside and are feeling at peace again.
This year, you might want to spend a little less time around people that make you feel stressed, or decide to let their perspectives about life roll of your back. You might want to reduce the number of activities you are involved in, create new menus that promote healthier eating, or establish new holiday customs that emphasize relaxation and fun with the people you care about.
8 creative ways to manage stress and support your self healing during the holidays:
- Order food in, and put your feet up.
- Host a potluck meal on the big holiday.
- Have an indoor picnic with hot cider, and food served on eco-friendly paper plates.
- Instead of putting up lots of decorations, place lots of lit candles around the house.
- Make one special holiday treat that fits your dietary lifestyle, instead of all those sugary cookies and deserts.
- Instead of buying lots of gifts for family and friends, make contributions to a charity in their name, or get gift certificates.
- Email your holiday card or forget them all together send a plain email telling people how much you love them.
- Focus on having meaningful experiences rather than things being perfect.
Maybe you will be creating some new holiday traditions, or maybe you will be eliminating some all together. For more playful ideas about promoting health and happiness during the holiday season, you might want to watch my FOX TV interview about reducing holiday stress.
Remember, this year, consider committing to only those activities and customs that support you in your wellness and let the rest go. You deserve peace, relaxation, and healing as you enter into this holiday season.
After all, aren’t your presence and health the greatest gifts your loved ones would want you to receive? So consider giving yourself a big loving gift throughout the season by making a commitment to reduce stress and put your self healing first.